Talking to your parents about their estate plan

| Sep 23, 2019 | Firm News

Everyone needs to plan their estate at some point in their lives if they want to dictate how their assets will be distributed. It’s generally a good idea to start the process of planning your estate sooner rather than later, since this will give you peace of mind while allowing you to make minor changes to your plan when circumstances change.

If you are concerned about the fact that your parents have not yet planned their estate, you may want to take steps to encourage them to do so. However, talking to your parents about such a sensitive matter can be difficult. It is important that you take the time to consider how you will approach the situation. The following are some tips for doing so.

Do it before you feel you need to

It’s easy to delay having that uncomfortable conversation because you think that you have time. But if you wait until one of your parents gets ill or frail, the estate planning journey will become much more difficult. Try to talk to your parents about it while they are still in good health.

Allow them to plan their estate privately if they want to

Making an estate plan can be a personal, private and sensitive topic. You should not insist on assisting them in the administrative aspects, but you can help to guide them if they need direction. Show them that you are looking out for them and be respectful of their privacy.

Don’t be overly persuasive

Being overly persuasive and pushy could mean that you could be overstepping the line and exhibiting behavior that is known as undue influence. Acting with undue influence when it comes to estate planning is a reason for a person to contest a will. Other people with a stake in the will may use your overtly persuasive actions as grounds to contest the will.

Explain to them your reasoning

Show your parents that you have their best intentions at heart. You don’t want assets that they have worked for all their lives to be inefficiently used, and you will want them to have a say in their legacy.

If you want to help your parents to plan their estate, make sure that you can easily explain all the steps to them.