Millions of U.S. adults have not made an estate plan. It is estimated that only a third of the adult population has. While what most people do or do not do will not affect you, in the case of your parents, it will.
While you might be worried about talking to them about drafting an estate plan, in case they think you are trying to get hold of their money, it’s a good idea to do so soon anyway.
It allows you to help them
Estate planning is not just about passing assets on. It is also about taking care of the person making a plan (and their immediate family) should they fall seriously ill or become seriously injured. If your parents give you or someone else power of attorney, that person can perform essential tasks such as paying bills and signing documents if illness or injury means your parents cannot do these things for themselves.
An estate plan can reduce the amount of tax paid
Depending on your parents’ wealth, there could be considerable gains to be made by early planning. Failing to do so will mean that more of the money they worked hard to save could end up in the hands of the IRS rather than distributed among those whom your parents love or given to a charity they care about.
It can reduce the chance of a family feud
However unlikely you think your family is to fight about money, tensions can run high when people die. Families can argue over funeral plans as well as money. An estate plan can make your parent’s wishes clear for all to see.
By helping your parents make their estate plan, even if all you do is put them in touch with legal help, you can contribute toward a better future for them, yourself and your mutual loved ones.