It’s not easy to broach the subject of Estate Planning, but it is necessary. Anything can happen and the older we are, the more likely it will. Your mum has dementia or your dad fell and he hasn’t fully recovered; now what? It’s difficult to talk to your parents about ‘the inevitable?’. The reality is if you don’t, it could complicate things immensely.
Starting a conversation around this topic with family and parents shouldn’t be something to be feared; sorting the issues takes a weight off for all involved. There are many reasons why people choose not to; perhaps your parents’ paperwork is in a mess and you are dreading dealing with it, maybe you have in mind that they have already sorted out their affairs with a professional and don’t require your assistance. It could be that money isn’t something that gets talked about in your family or it might even be that the raw emotion of the subject is too difficult for either yourself or your parents to handle.
Estate assets can be defined as assets that are ‘personally owned either outright or as tenants-in-common with another person or entity.’ Once conversation is underway, it should become easier to talk about – in fact, parents generally wish that they had started the process sooner. Before approaching them, shake off the thought that ‘you know what’s best’ and be sure not to make the mistake of going in over-prepared with a plan in place for them. Consider your parents at every step of the way; ask them what they have in mind for the future and make efforts to centre your Estate Planning conversation around working together to find an outcome that all can agree upon.