Understandably, many adult children start to wonder if their own parents have done any estate planning. They’re just realistically considering the fact that their parents won’t be around forever and wondering what they’ll need to do when that day comes.
However, asking this question can feel self-serving or uncomfortable. You may assume that they’ll take it as you asking for “your money” and trying to find out what you’re going to get when they’re gone. You may feel like this makes it seem as if you value those assets more than the time with your parents.
If you’re worried about this, try using this mindset: “Estate planning is the ultimate act of love.” Your parents get to express their love for you by doing their estate planning. They get to make the process of grieving easier for you. They get to use their assets to “take care” of their children, even when they’re not around. They get to help you and your siblings avoid disputes and disagreements. Everything about the estate planning shows this love.
In the same way, having a conversation about it is how you show that you care about them — and the rest of your family. You also want everyone’s lives to go as smoothly as possible. Plus, estate planning is more than just passing on assets. You can ask them about their healthcare plans and what type of medical care they want. You can talk about long-term care planning and the costs associated with it. The whole time, stress that you just want to help them to make sure everything goes well.
When you come at it from this direction, the conversation can go very smoothly. Be sure you and your parents know what steps to take to make sure their estate plans are complete.