Not everyone is proactive about handling estate planning. Some put it off as long as possible, imagining they will always have time to get it done. Suddenly, it is too late.
This mistake leaves children and other relatives in the lurch. Estates without planning directives take longer to settle and cost more. If your parents have not taken action, start the discussion.
Preparing estate planning questions
Before approaching your parents, educate yourself about estate planning. Thorough plans involve:
- Powers of attorney
- Health care proxies
Trusts may also be part of the equation. Bring a notebook and ask about each item, finding out which pieces, if any, are already in place.
Being sensitive to family relationships
In all probability, you are not the only person these documents are going to affect. If you have siblings, keep them in the loop on what you are doing. That way, there will be no surprises down the road.
Hiring professional help
Once you have all the information you need, it is time to enlist the services of a professional. Online templates are inadequate. You should hire an estate planning expert so that no details fall through the cracks.
Acting with urgency
You want to get the estate plan ball rolling as soon as possible, especially if your parents are on the older side. The faster paperwork is complete, the better. You can adjust the details later if necessary.
Confronting mortality is tricky for some. Approaching the topic is necessary so that our after-death wishes have legal protection. Verify that your parents do not leave a mess for you and others.