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Can you help your parents with estate planning and avoid undue influence?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2023 | Estate Planning

Parents often seek the help of their kids with estate planning, especially those with children 40 years and above. They may want help accessing the guidance they need, getting their documents ready and so on. However, this can lead to undue influence, which can encourage a contest in the future.

So, can you help your parents with estate planning and avoid undue influence? This guide provides you with three tips.

Include your siblings

If you have siblings, it will help to include them when your parent(s) wants to talk about estate planning. Your parents may choose to speak with you because you live closer or are the eldest. However, even though you have nothing to hide, your siblings may raise questions. Thus, to be safe, when your parents want to have an estate planning conversation, encourage them to call a family meeting.

Don’t help in making decisions 

You can help your parents get in touch with an experienced attorney, financial advisor or tax specialist, but you should not play an active role when they work with them. You can set the appointments, but your parents should independently speak with them. You should not be present in the meetings.

Keep records

When helping your parents with estate planning, you should keep detailed records. These include booked appointments, notes of your conversations and details about any task you perform. If possible, you can bring your siblings to some tasks.

Be careful about what you say

When speaking with your parents about any matter concerning their estate plan, you should be careful about what you say. Avoid statements that may be viewed as an influence on their decisions.

It will help to work with a neutral party when helping your parents with estate planning to avoid being accused of undue influence.