As your parents age, you will have many concerns. From their health to their living situation, it goes without saying that you'll always have something on your mind.
It's important to discuss estate planning with your elderly parents, as this will give everyone involved the peace of mind they deserve. However, this is never an easy conversation to have, as overstepping can cause more harm than good.
Here are three tips for discussing estate planning with your elderly parents:
- Choose a positive environment at the right time: Many people make the mistake of discussing estate planning during a time of crisis, such as when a family member or close friend has passed way. It's best to have this discussion in a positive environment, such as your parents' home, during a time when things are calm. This sets the table for a meaningful conversation that leads to the intended results.
- Focus on your parents, not yourself: Many people share the fear of coming across as insincere or only looking out for themselves. Make it clear from the start that you want to discuss estate planning out of concern for your parents. This is suggested over talking about yourself, as this looks like you're interested in nothing more than an inheritance.
- Discuss the benefits of talking about estate planning: Show your parents what a comprehensive estate plan can do for them. There are many ways to illustrate this point, such as by talking about others who have run into trouble because they didn't have the proper estate plan in place.
Even if you follow these tips, you could still run into trouble along the way. If this happens, take a step back and ask your parents if they want to revisit the conversation in the near future. Sometimes it's important to take a break, as this gives everyone a chance to think things over and decide on what to do next.
As you get on the same page as your parents, work with them to ensure that their estate plan meets their wants and needs. With so many ways to approach estate planning, there's no excuse for neglecting to implement the perfect plan.
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