As your parents get older, it may be time to work on their estate. You want them to be protected as they age, and you also want to be sure that their assets and wishes are taken care of in the future.
It can be tough to get your parents to talk about their estate, but it’s a good time to do so while they’re still able to make their own decisions. If your parents die intestate, that will only complicate matters.
So, what can you do to help your parents prepare their estate(s)? Here are three tips
Encourage your parents to think about what dying intestate would do to the family
One of the good ways to encourage a parent to take the right steps to start estate planning is to explain what will happen if they don’t. Talk to them about your feelings and why you don’t want to have to go through probate when you’re already grieving. You should work with an attorney to explain the state laws and how they might differ from your parents’ preferences.
Let them know you want to support their choices
The next thing to do is to let your parents know that you want to help support their choices by having them work on an advance directive or set up a health care power of attorney. The point of these documents isn’t to limit them but instead to make sure their desires are met in times of trouble.
Be prepared to help them meet with the right attorney
Depending on your parents’ ages, they may be unable to meet an attorney on their own. Be willing to go with them, so you can ask any questions you have as well.
Estate planning can be complex, but by participating in the creation of an estate plan with your parents, you can stay knowledgeable about what to expect.