Your parents have minds of their own, and they’ve been handling their own affairs since well before you were born. They may resent you (or anybody else) telling them what they should do.
Unfortunately, they may need a little bit of a push to get their estate plans in order.
Examples of situations where estate planning is needed
Say that your aging and single father made an estate plan thirty-five years ago. Do you suppose this estate plan is still beneficial? Is it still valid? What life changes have occurred that need addressing in his existing plan.
If your dad has bought and sold property, lost his spouse, welcomed or paid final respects to loved ones or moved to a new home, he needs to review his estate plan.
Now, say that a sickly mother, who owns two homes and several investment accounts, refuses to create an estate plan. Instead, she believes it is an unnecessary waste of time and money because her children and grandchildren know her wishes well.
Unfortunately, she might not understand how these documents protect her beneficiaries and her healthcare wishes. Without legal documents like a living will or a durable power of attorney, she risks having her wishes overlooked.
How can you convince them to consider estate planning?
Consider talking about your own family’s estate planning efforts over lunch with your parents and your siblings. When your mom or dad hears about the many benefits that come with a solid estate plan, they may have a change of heart and consider giving it a try. If they express an interest, give them some resources about estate planning to study and keep the lines of communication open.
When preparing your elders for their final years, do not overlook the assistance a professional can offer in convincing them it is time to make some changes.