How to talk to your elderly parent about estate planning

by | Oct 29, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Your parents made sure your needs were met for many years. Now that the roles have shifted, you want to return the favor by ensuring your parent has financial and medical protection in the future. To make sure your parent has protection in these matters, you must talk to them about estate planning. By knowing what to say, you can help them understand and avoid the consequences of passing away without a plan.

Tell them about the benefits

You must bring up the subject when you see that your loved one is in a good mood and relaxed. You can start by referencing someone you know that has suffered because their loved one died and did not leave a plan behind. Explain that if they do not appoint their heirs, the state will do it for them. Also, let them know that they could even save money by creating an estate plan before their death.

You must also inform them that incapacity is also something that they must think about. A serious illness, disease or disability could make them unable to live independently, and they must state what they want to happen to them if this occurs. By planning in advance, they can choose who can make the medical and financial decisions for them, including life and death decisions, as well as how they will support themselves if they are unable to work.

Inform them of their options

There are different tools that a person can use to plan important matters that will arise upon their death, like who will receive their estate or who will take care of them if they get a disability in the future. Each tool has its purpose and benefits. Some of them are:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Power of attorney
  • Living will
  • Life insurance

Make sure you understand all the available estate planning tools and explain them to your parent with care and patience. Listen to their opinion and let them decide what would be best for their own life. If they are already unable to make good decisions, you can ask the court to appoint you or another adult as their guardian.

The support your loved one needs

No one likes to think about the inevitable, so you must be patient if your parent refuses to talk about this topic at first. However, by informing them of the benefits and the importance of estate planning, they may eventually rethink their decision and sit down to arrange their affairs. Remind them that they can have a say in what will happen to everything they worked for in their life. It is their right to ask for their wishes to be respected, and you can make that happen by talking to them.