4 Steps in Estate Planning for Parents – Guest Post

  

Estate Planning for Parents

Talking to your parents about their estate and end-of-life wishes isn’t easy or pleasant, but it’s an important topic to discuss. Helping your aging parents with estate planning isn’t just for your benefit. It’s not about claiming your inheritance, it’s about ensuring their wishes will be carried out when they pass away. Here are four steps you should cover when helping your folks plan their estate.

Be Patient and Considerate

Some people avoid talking about death at all costs, while others may start writing their wills early in life. Your parent may have no plans in place, or they may have started estate planning without your knowledge. Your parents’ feelings about aging and death matter, and you should take those feelings into consideration when breaching the topic of estate planning. Be considerate and thoughtful about how you ask them about their end-of-life plans. If you don’t get all the information you’re seeking the first time, just be patient and talk to them again later.

Hire an Estate Planning Attorney

You will need to hire an estate planning attorney to help you and your parents obtain the proper legal documentation. Your lawyer can also help you and your parents understand legal terms and laws around estate planning, guide your parents in making decisions that work best for them, and assist you with having important conversations with your parents about estate planning.

Include Care Planning

Estate planning isn’t just about deciding where your parents’ money will go when they die. An important part of end-of-life planning is figuring out how they want to be cared for if they become disabled during their final years. Maybe your parent doesn’t want to receive life support, or perhaps they prefer to pass away at home instead of in a nursing facility. Make sure to take the time to research possible options for them, if they choose a nursing home. This way when the moment arrives when moving your parents to a facility is necessary, you can be stress-free about where to take them. A living will can address these important topics.

Involve Your Siblings

If you have siblings, it’s very important to involve them in the estate planning process. Ask for their input and be transparent so there are no questions about what will take place when your parents pass away. The death of a parent can be very painful, and it can cause strong emotional reactions in even the calmest of people. Involving them early on in your parents’ end-of-life planning will prevent hurt feelings and confusion after the funeral.

Everyone passes away eventually. Although estate planning is by no means pleasant, having a plan set in place for your parents can reduce uncertainty at the end of their lives. It’s better to take care of these things now so you can have the time and space to grieve and remember your parents when that time comes. Remember to do the steps early, and use professional help.