When a parent is aging and concerns about the future are arising, it can be difficult for children to discuss estate planning with them. However, it is necessary to have the discussion to ensure that the proper plans are in place for every reasonable eventuality. These include elder care issues, how inheritances are organized, who the beneficiaries are and other documents that can be essential. It might be awkward to have this discussion with parents, but being prepared can make it easier. Seeing a lawyer who understands these vital issues can also be helpful.
A child should know whether the parent has taken steps toward drafting estate planning documents. Documents that should be executed include a will, health care directive and a power of attorney. Many people are unprepared for a health issue or catastrophic injury and their children do not know what the parent’s wishes are. Simply discussing these issues can be beneficial, as it hammers home how important it is. Knowing the parent’s goals and agreeing to make them come to fruition is more effective than confronting the parent with demands.
Once the topic has been discussed, the more serious issues can be ushered in. For example, the funeral arrangements could be a concern. Or, parents might be vulnerable to being taken advantage of by outsiders. Gathering all the information as to what is currently happening, how the person’s finances are arranged and what they want can make all the difference. A trap that many children fall into when having these discussions with their parents is that they are judgmental, which can lead to a confrontation.
When trying to gather information about an estate plan, legal help is often required to avoid family disputes. A law firm that has a history of assisting people and their families organize their estate plan is key to successful estate planning. Before taking the first step, you should contact a lawyer who can point you in the right direction.