Many conversations in life can be difficult to have, especially between parents and their children. Some parents may need to talk to their children about difficult topics that they would rather avoid, and even the opposite situation could be true in which children need to bring up tough topics to their parents. In the latter case, even adult children can have a hard time broaching certain subjects.
For instance, as your parent ages, you may feel the need to bring up whether he or she has created an estate plan. If your parent has not mentioned such a plan to you, it is possible that there is no plan. It is unlikely that your parent wants to leave his or her affairs in disarray for you to handle, but you may still hesitate to bring up the conversation.
Why talk about estate planning?
First, estate plans have many uses and do not have to apply only to after-death matters. Discussing estate planning could open the door to a number of important topics. For example, who would be in charge of making important medical or financial decisions on your parent’s behalf in the event that he or she could no longer do so? You could find the answer to this question and have it deemed legally binding by having your parent create a power of attorney as part of a plan.
Plus, your parent may also have important financial matters that need addressing. In addition to having power of attorney agents, your parent may also need to create a protective trust and appoint a trustee or consider how certain investment opportunities could be handled for future growth.
What can you do?
If you want to bring up the subject of estate planning with your parent but feel uncertain about doing so in a sensitive manner, you may want to consider the following tips:
- Express your sincerity and concern for wanting to make sure that your parent has his or her affairs in order.
- Choose to have the conversation in a comfortable environment where your parent will not feel attacked or put on the spot.
- Make sure that your parent is in a positive mindset and is not already experiencing stress over other matters.
- Go over the benefits of having a plan in place and discuss how it could be helpful to surviving loved ones.
If your parent is open to the conversation and feels ready to start planning, you may want to help him or her find the right legal support for moving forward with the process.