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  • Nicole J. Zuvich

How to talk to your parents about estate planning

Updated: Sep 27

Estate planning can be incredibly important for your assets and your family. Yet, most people put off estate planning until it’s too late. If your parents are in this position, then you might be wondering what you can do to help them ensure that their vision of the future is protected.

Tips for talking to your parents about estate planning

Raising the topic of estate planning isn’t easy. That’s why we’ve compiled these tips to help you ease into the topic with your parents:

  1. Know where they stand: To start, you need to know what your parents have in place as far as estate planning is concerned. To get there, though, you need to know how to ease into the conversation. To do so, you might be able to bring up situations of people you know and how those concerns relate to your parents’ current circumstances.

  2. Focus on what matters: There are certain things that are important to your parents. Figure out what those items are and how they can further those interests through estate planning. Those interests could include protecting certain family members, encouraging loved ones to act a certain way, or furthering specific charities.

  3. Be empathetic: Talking about death is hard. Be cognizant of that fact as you begin talking about estate planning with your parents. Also, be understanding of their challenges as you continue the conversation.

  4. Inform family members: You definitely don’t want people to think that you’re coercing your parents to do anything, which is why it might be wise to tell your other family members what your intentions are with regard to discussing estate planning with your parents.

Have legal support on your side

Merely talking about estate planning with your parents can be tough, but navigating the legalities involved in formal estate planning can be difficult, too, especially if you don’t want to put an entire estate plan at risk of being invalidated. That’s why after discussing estate planning with your parents it might be a good idea to encourage them to have a similar conversation with an experienced estate planning attorney.

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