You may be nervous to bring up estate planning with your parents. Maybe they don’t like to talk about such personal issues and you feel like the conversation will be awkward. Perhaps you think that they will feel insulted because it just sounds like you’re asking when you’re going to get your inheritance and how much money to expect.
You may not be doing any of this. You just want to make sure that your parents have an estate plan because you know how beneficial that will be for you and your siblings when you have to sort out the details. Maybe you know medical decisions will be needed, for instance, in case of incapacitation, and you just want some guidance. But how do you start the conversation?
Do your own estate planning
One potential option is to do your own estate planning first, and then talk to your parents by using this as a segue. Perhaps you just set up any medical power of attorney, for example, ensuring that someone would be able to make those critical medical decisions if you were incapacitated. Once you do this, you can talk about the qualities you looked for in that agent and ask your parents if they have picked someone for a similar situation.
The benefit of doing this is that you’re talking about your own estate planning, so it doesn’t look like you’re just considering what inheritance you will get.
Discuss your concerns
Another option is to directly bring up the things that you are concerned about. Odds are this has nothing to do with how much money or other assets you will receive. Instead, you’re concerned about not having an estate plan and getting involved in a dispute with your siblings, for example, or not knowing who can make medical decisions for your parents.
When you talk about these concerns, it shows that you’re bringing this up from a place of empathy. You just want to help, and you need to make sure the proper paperwork is in place so that you know how.
Whether you’re doing your estate planning or working with your parents on theirs, you need to know what legal steps to take.