Talking about an estate plan isn’t something that’s easy. Instead, it takes time and compassion to have these discussions. If you want to discuss their estate plan with your aging parents, remember that this might not something that they can easily or quickly. In some cases, they may dodge the questions you have because they haven’t made an estate plan.
Only around 42% of Americans have a will set up. The individuals who don’t have one are leaving everything up to chance. They aren’t letting anyone know what their wishes are for their assets. Instead, they are letting the state’s laws dictate what happens.
When you are ready to find out about your parents’ estate plan, remember that they have likely thought a lot about the contents of it. There is more to it than just outlining who gets what. They also have to make decisions about their final days and other related matters.
Depending on your parents’ circumstances, you might not be able to discuss the plan in its entirety in one sitting. You may have to split things up and talk about one or two components at a time. For example, you might discuss the will and trusts in one meeting, the medical directives and power of attorney in another, and other instructions they have for you in a final meeting.
Remember, your parents might change their estate plan as time goes on. Knowing how they update the components can help you to understand what’s going to happen if they become incapacitated or pass away. By having these discussions now, you’re being a chance to ask questions and get clarifications on anything you aren’t certain about.