What would happen if your elderly parents were to die without an estate plan or will in place? This situation is more common than you might think, as Forbes reports that nearly half of American residents over the age of 55 do not have such a plan.
Talking to your aging parents about making an estate plan is not always an easy task; however, there are a few strategies you can use to approach the topic.
Discuss future generations
Your elderly parents may not have an estate plan for the near future because they may not have considered how that could affect you, their grandchildren or any other possible beneficiaries. Helping them understand how a lack of planning might cause problems after they are gone, including probate court, may open a frank and honest discussion about their estate.
Offer your help
Although your parents may want to participate in estate planning, they might not know where to begin. Estate planning is not always easy to understand, especially for elderly individuals who might have trouble defining their role in the process. Offering your help may make them feel more comfortable.
Approach advanced directive plans with a doctor
If you believe your parents’ estate plan should include advanced directives for medical care but find it difficult to broach the subject, it may help to open the discussion by visiting their primary physician together. Professional recommendations and a review of your parents’ recent medical history may allow you to open the door to estate planning.
Discussing the disbursement of your parents’ finances and property may not be easy for you or them. However, careful planning may avoid family strife in the future.