It can often be difficult to talk to your parents about estate planning. You may be worried that they haven’t created a plan. You may be concerned that this will cause disputes between you and your siblings, or just that the process will be longer and more confusing. All of these concerns are very valid.
But it still feels difficult to bring up estate planning because you don’t want your parents to feel like you’re just thinking about getting your inheritance. You also don’t want to start an uncomfortable conversation, as many people do feel uncomfortable talking about their own passing. So how can you bring this up?
Do it yourself first
There are a lot of different tips that can help you, such as discussing your concerns, involving your siblings, providing examples of other estate planning experiences that have gone negatively – such as a relative who passed away without an estate plan – and much more.
But perhaps the best thing to do is simply to address your own estate planning. Once you get this plan in place, it gives you a very easy way to bring these topics up with other people.
For instance, if you wonder if your parents have an advance directive or a medical power of attorney, you can just talk about how you set yours up recently. You may mention what you looked for in an agent and ask them if they’ve considered some of the same factors.
Exactly how this conversation goes may vary from one situation to the next, but you can see how it organically allows you to talk about estate planning without making anyone uncomfortable. Once things begin moving forward, all involved can know what legal options they have.