Should you discuss estate planning with your parents?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Wills

As we age, we start thinking about our mortality and the legacy we will leave behind. For many of us, this includes ensuring our financial affairs are in order and that our loved ones will be taken care of after we’re gone.

However, we are often reluctant to discuss estate planning with our parents. But it’s essential to have these conversations to provide peace of mind for both you and your parents.

Why do we avoid discussing estate planning with our parents?

Discussing estate planning with our parents can be a deeply uncomfortable experience for many individuals. These conversations often involve financial matters, health care decisions and the potential need for skilled nursing home care. These subjects tend to evoke feelings of anxiety, pride and vulnerability.

Furthermore, for some families, there are taboos regarding discussions of death and finances and the fear of appearing greedy or callous. Still, there are several reasons why having this conversation is so important, including:

  • Preventing future conflicts among siblings and other relatives over inheritance issues.
  • Better financial planning and preparedness
  • Ensuring your parents’ wishes are honored
  • Highlighting the need for legal documents such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney and advanced health directives.
  • Minimizing estate taxes and ensuring the smooth transfer of assets
  • Facilitating access to important documents and avoiding the stress of locating them during an emotionally difficult time

Preparation and approach are the keys to a successful conversation with your parents. Here are some tips:

  • Plan your conversation during a calm, stress-free period in a setting where everyone feels comfortable
  • Approach the topic with empathy and without pressure
  • Include your siblings and be transparent
  • Focus on your parents’ wishes
  • Listen and be supportive

This conversation is about your parents, their wishes and their legacy. Helping them ensure their financial and legal affairs are in order will provide peace of mind for everyone involved.