No one wants to think about losing their parents, no matter what age they are. Estate planning can be a sensitive subject and a difficult one to bring up — especially if your parents are reluctant to discuss the issue or feel overwhelmed by the prospect.
While an uncomfortable conversation to have, it’s a necessary one. It’s important for both you, and them, to know what they would like to happen with their possessions after they pass away. Below are a few suggestions on how to start this discussion.
Check with them whether they have a will
Each and every person should have a will. This is usually the place where most people start when embarking on the estate planning process which is why it can be a good segue into the conversation.
It’s important to know whether they have previously drawn up a will. You’ll want to know how old this is, if they have a copy and whether it still reflects their wishes. If they’re happy with the one they have, that’s fine. If they don’t have one at all or their situation has changed since the previous will, they may need to have a new one.
Approach the subject with love and understanding
As difficult and emotional as this subject is for you, it’s difficult for them, too. Keeping calm and reassuring during your conversations might be exactly what they need. Remind them that the purpose of the process is also to make sure they are both protected and taken care of in the event of the other’s death.
Take things slow if necessary and make sure they understand exactly what it is that they’re doing and why. This can be made easier by having the assistance of a legal professional who can help both you and your parents with the estate planning process.