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How to discuss estate planning with your parents

If you have not yet brought up the subject of estate planning with your parents, you are not alone. Many families are just not comfortable talking about money around each other and the subject of death is never easy to bring up. Your parents may have also shied away from the subject because they feel insecure about discussing their finances or they may believe they will lose control of their money. 

Maybe the reason the discussion has yet to come up is because you are the one that is uncomfortable with the discussion. If this is the case, it is understandable. Sometimes a discussion like this can come off as greedy or wanting to be nosy. However, you know it is a conversation you ought to have. As the holiday season approaches and you may be spending time with your parents, this may be a good time for the discussion. Here are some strategies you can use to help get the conversation started.

Start off by asking them what they want

One way to bypass any assumptions your parents may have that you are only concerned about yourself and an inheritance, is to simply ask what their wishes are. This may start the conversation that can lead to offering your support for making their wishes come true by completing an estate plan.

Keeping it guess proof

One of the best reasons to discuss estate planning with your parents is that you do not want to be in the position of guessing their wishes after they are gone. If you have siblings, make sure they are part of the conversation too. Keep the focus on what your parents want and how you can help them.

Communicate clearly

Conversations about money and property can make people talk vaguely in an open setting. If this happens with your parents, your communication back to them should be clear and concise. You should refrain from asking “why” questions. If you feel that your parents would be more comfortably speaking directly to an estate planning attorney, let them know you will assist in getting that accomplished.

Even though discussions about estate planning can be tough to get started, you should remember that the reason for the conversation is about love and understanding. You may even find out that your parents will appreciate your support and willingness to help them with something they didn’t want to tackle alone.

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