People often think about estate planning when something goes wrong. A loved one is diagnosed with cancer, for instance, and so they start making plans for the end of their life.
If you are a child who wants to talk to your parents about estate planning, however, it may be best to do it while they are still in good health. There are two main reasons for this.
It doesn’t look like you just want your inheritance
First and foremost, this type of conversation will likely feel a lot less awkward because your parents don’t think that you just want the money now. You’re not talking to them because you think they’re about to pass away. You know they’re in good health and you all believe they have many years or even decades left. In this way, they can see that you really just want to help them or find out more about the planning that they’ve done so that you can be part of it.
Some parts of an estate plan have to be made when you’re healthy
Certain documents they may want to use in their estate plan need to be created while they are obviously in good health. For instance, someone with a degenerative brain disease may face an estate dispute because an heir will claim they weren’t cognitively able to write the will. And that could be true. But if they write the will before the diagnosis, then it is far more likely that the will is going to stand and that a dispute will not occur.
This is just one thing to think about with estate planning, but you can see why it’s so important for everyone to know about the steps they can take and the options they have.