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How should you discuss estate planning with your parents?

There may come a point when you realize that your parents don't have the right type of estate plan in place. While you feel compelled to ask them about this, you also worry that you'll come across as greedy.

Since you need to take action without harming your relationship, here are some tips to follow:

  • Request a meeting: Don't dive into this conversation on a whim. Instead, let your parents know what you want to talk about and request a time to get-together with them.
  • Plan for what you will say: Don't make the mistake of "winging it," as you need to have a clear idea of what you want to discuss and how you will frame the conversation.
  • Focus on the wants and needs of your parents: Remember, it's all about helping your parents do what's best for them. You need to understand their wants and needs, which will give you the information you need to best help them.
  • Ask for assistance: Although you can start the conversation with your parents, it doesn't mean you can help them with every last detail. There may come a point when you need to bring in a professional, such as an attorney, financial planner or tax consultant.

These are the types of things you can do when preparing to discuss estate planning matters with your parents.

You can't make decisions for your parents, but you can learn more about their situation with the idea of providing assistance. When you also focus on the legal side of estate planning, you'll find yourself in good position to help in a number of ways.

Source: Market Watch, "How to talk to your parents about their estate without seeming like a greedy jerk," accessed June 07, 2018

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