As parents age, it becomes increasingly important to have open and honest conversations about their future plans. One aspect of this dialogue is estate planning.
While it may seem like a daunting topic, addressing it early can help both you and your elderly parents. Here are some tips on how to broach the subject and navigate this discussion.
Choose the right time and place
Timing is key when approaching the topic of estate planning. Find a quiet, comfortable setting where you can have a focused conversation.
Although 57% of Americans state they made plans to stay with family or friends during the holidays, it is best to avoid discussing these matters during family gatherings or holidays. It may create stress during a relaxing time.
Express concern and care
Initiate the conversation by expressing your love and concern for your parents’ well-being. Acknowledge that discussing estate planning may be challenging but emphasize the importance of ensuring people respect and understand their wishes.
Focus on their wishes and values
When discussing estate planning, shift the focus to their wishes and values. Encourage your parents to share their thoughts on how they envision their legacy, including assets, sentimental items and any specific wishes they may have.
Discuss financial matters with sensitivity
Broaching the subject of finances can be delicate. Approach it with sensitivity and emphasize the importance of understanding their financial situation to be able to meet their wishes. Discussing details such as bank accounts, investments and debts can help create a comprehensive plan.
Explore end-of-life care preferences
Include discussions about end-of-life care preferences in your estate planning conversation. Understanding their choices regarding medical care, living arrangements and potential healthcare proxies will provide clarity on their expectations.
Involve siblings or family members
If applicable, consider involving siblings or other family members in the conversation. This can foster a collaborative approach and ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding your parents’ wishes.
While discussing estate planning with elderly parents may be challenging, it is a huge step in ensuring their legacy. By approaching the topic with sensitivity, you can bring peace of mind to your parents and the entire family.