If you’re like most families in Ashburn, your summer is probably filled with vacations, day trips and cookouts. One of the last things on your mind is estate planning and your parent’s wishes.
However, a summer cookout might be the perfect time to ease into the discussion.
A difficult but necessary conversation
Discussing estate planning with parents can be a difficult conversation, but it is an important one to have. Here are some tips for making the conversation go smoothly:
- Find a time when your parents are relaxed and not distracted by other things.
- Approach the discussion with sensitivity and respect for your parents’ wishes. Avoid being pushy or confrontational, and try to understand their perspective.
- Explain to your parents that having an estate plan can help protect their assets, and ensure their final wishes are carried out.
- Ask your parents open-ended questions to encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings about estate planning.
- Offer to help because your parents may feel overwhelmed by the process of estate planning.
Your parents may have a will and think that’s adequate. However, several other documents are part of an estate plan, including:
- Power(s) of attorney
- Advance healthcare directive
- Beneficiary designations
An estate plan should also include a letter of instruction. It’s not a legally binding document, but it can guide family members and other loved ones about how the person would like their affairs to be handled after their death.
Remember, discussing estate planning with parents can be a sensitive topic. Be patient and understanding, and respect their wishes even if they are not ready to take action right away.
Remind them that estate planning isn’t just about money; it’s also about providing peace of mind for everyone.