Finance is a tough conversation topic for anyone. Add in grief from the loss of a parent, and it may feel nearly impossible.
One way to avoid conflict down the road is to work with your parents on their estate plan. Estate planning includes writing a will, trust, or other plans for your parent’s assets that go into effect after they pass.
1. Open the conversation
The first step to helping your parents with an estate plan is to talk. It may seem overly simple, but a conversation is the best way to understand their goals and wishes as well as get a picture of their finances. This sets up your family for open dialogue around a tough subject.
2. Involve others
Throughout the process, it is important to involve other adults in the estate plan. Take into account any adult children, stepchildren, or other beneficiaries your parents wish to incorporate into their will or trust. Doing so helps keep the process transparent to all parties and avoids hard feelings and misunderstandings.
3. Ask for help
The key to any great estate plan is organization. There is a lot to consider and you may need to use outside help. You should encourage your parents to reach out to an attorney or financial planner who specializes in estate planning. A professional estate planner is helpful to ensure everything gets completed correctly and is legally enforceable.
Estate planning does not have to be a wedge in your relationship with your parents. With a little planning, you can successfully help your parents take care of a stressful part of aging.