Have A Much Needed Conversation With Your Family About Estate Planning
Estate planning is often a difficult topic to broach, as it brings the unpleasant topics of aging and death to the forefront of our minds. However, creating a proper estate plan can also provide significant peace of mind for your family members by ensuring their life savings are protected, plans are in place in the event they become ill, and their property is passed down according to their wishes. Here are a few tips to help you start the conversation and important discussion points.
Be sensitive to your family members’ feelings
Put yourself in their shoes, and keep in mind that few people are eager to dwell on the subject of their own mortality. One way to begin the conversation is to talk first about the need to plan for illness and to provide instructions in the event they become too sick to communicate with doctors or manage their own finances. The conversation can then naturally progress to the importance of having an estate plan that will enable their life savings to be transferred in the way that they wish, provide for the care of any children or pets, and minimize any taxes, court costs, and legal fees. Communicate that you are not trying to control their decisions, but only want to ensure that their own wishes regarding their medical care and their property are known—and that all their instructions are in writing to guarantee they are honored.
Involve other family members in the conversation
If you are planning to speak to your parents about the need for an estate plan, it is important to try to include any siblings in the discussion to avoid giving the impression that you are trying to influence or control your parents’ choices. You and your siblings should emphasize to your parents that none of you are asking about what you will inherit, but just want to make sure that their wishes are known and honored if they become ill or pass away.
Address several key topics.
Consult an estate planning attorney
We can help you and your family ensure there is a plan in place that will prevent unnecessary stress, legal expenses, taxes, arguments between family members, and delays in passing property to loved ones upon death. An estate plan will also provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing there is a plan in place for incapacity.
Please call us today to set up a consultation.
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