Life is unpredictable, and while it is impossible to know what will happen in the future, there are ways that one can have assurance regarding personal interests and other matters. One way to do this is by creating an estate plan that allows one to decide what will happen with personal assets after passing away. If you create a plan, you will be able to say what happens to your property, the type of medical care you prefer in case of incapacitation and more.
It is also important to talk about estate planning matters. If you have older parents, it is beneficial to have a conversation about their preferences and what is in their estate plan. Even if they include these details in their plans, having these conversations can allow you to understand their motivations and their objectives. While it could be an awkward conversation, it is an important one.
Why it is a critical conversation
It is not easy to talk about money, and it can be uncomfortable to discuss someone’s mortality and what will happen after he or she passes. This can be even more difficult when it is your parents, but it can be beneficial for the entire family to have this conversation. When talking to your parents about what they want to happen after they pass or in case of a medical emergency, it is good to be prepared for a potentially awkward conversation. Consider the following:
- Be prepared by doing your research, understanding estate planning terms and more.
- Have the conversation at a good time and in a place that is private and comfortable.
- Listen to your parents more than you talk, and seek to understand rather than inform.
- Acknowledge that they may have made decisions you don’t like.
- Address any concerns you have and get clarification if you’re confused.
Knowing what’s in your parents’ estate plan may reduce conflict, lower the chance of a problem and empower you to help your parents. You can discuss any remaining decisions with a professional so that your family can face the future with confidence. If you or your parents are unsure of where to start, it may be helpful to first seek an assessment of your case.