Discussing inheritance issues and estate planning with your parents can be an uncomfortable topic. After all, no one likes to think about their own mortality or what would happen to their belongings after they’re gone. However, writing a will is the only way to ensure that their wishes are respected, and it can prevent bitter conflicts over personal mementos and valuable assets. Below are a few tips for broaching this difficult topic with your parents.
How to Discuss Estate Planning With Your Parents
1. Talk to Your Siblings First
If you have brothers or sisters, talk to them about handling your parents’ estate first, and make sure they understand the importance of writing a will. Including everyone in the conversation will help you avoid the appearance of impropriety and the perception that you’re mostly concerned with your own inheritance.
2. Be Honest About Your Own Motivations
When you do approach your parents, tell them you’re not concerned with the contents of the will. Instead, focus on why they need to write a will, and what could happen if they don’t. Without it, their assets may be distributed to family members by the probate court, without regard to their wishes.
3. Don’t Push Too Hard
Many people are uneasy discussing their own death and their finances, so the conversation may make your parents uncomfortable. If they change the subject or try to avoid the conversation, let it go for now. Bringing it up a few times a month allows them to slowly acclimate to the idea of preparing a will.
4. Take Care of Your Own Estate Plan
Preparing a will and creating your own estate plan is an excellent way to bring the topic out into the open. Being open about the contents of your will and what the process entails will likely make other members of your family more receptive.
Whether you’re preparing a will for the first time or need to update your estate plan, Molly McPherson of McPherson & McPherson Attorneys at Law has the experience and compassionate approach you need. She has been serving the Coupeville, WA, area since 1997, offering personalized attention and creative solutions in a wide range of situations. Visit her website for more on her estate planning services, or call (360) 678-4407 for an appointment with the respected local attorney.