Talking to your parent about the inevitable is not something that comes easy to anyone, and it only gets harder as time passes. However, you will do your parent, yourself and the rest of your family a favor by broaching the subject of estate planning as soon as possible.
It can feel awkward and strangely selfish to bring up the subject of inheritance with your aging parent. By understanding how to tactfully approach the conversation, you can get through the difficult discussion and grant everyone around you better peace of mind.
Ask if your parent has a will
There is much that goes into a complete estate plan, but it usually begins with a simple will. Start by asking if your parent has taken this important first step, and then you can proceed to more complex matters such as assigning a living trust. If your parent does not yet have a will, help them understand how even this basic estate planning tool can help ensure their assets pass on as intended.
Offer to help address any lingering concerns
As you continue the discussion, be mindful of your parent’s thoughts and feelings. Statistics show that as many as 30 percent of individuals over 65 do not have a will, and a major factor is that many people wish to avoid hard conversations. Be aware that by taking the initiative to bring this matter up with your parent, you are already doing much to alleviate that concern.
Neither parent nor child will take pleasure in talking about what will happen after the time of passing, but it is a necessary conversation nonetheless. Tackling the issue of estate planning sooner than later will take a weight off of everyone’s minds.