Even if your elderly parents are quite capable right now, their health status could change suddenly in the future. If they fail to implement a solid estate plan before that time, their property and assets may be at risk. That is why adult children are encouraged to speak frankly about estate planning with their elderly parents. If you are hesitant about bringing up these issues, the following tips can help.
Clear the air first
Unfortunately, many parents believe that any conversation with their children involving money will end in a request for a loan. If you believe your parents might feel this way, start the conversation by making your intentions known. Tell them you are only asking for their benefit, and you are willing to let them take the lead on all financial decisions. You can also be upfront about your fears, i.e. that they may be left without authority over medical decisions or their estate will not be distributed according to their wishes without a plan in place.
Pull back when necessary
Even if your parents are assured of your real intentions, they might still be uncomfortable having a frank financial conversation with you. In this case, limit your help to certain areas and let them hash out the details on their own. For instance, you could research different types of estate plans and convey the information to your parents so they can make a good decision. You can also help them find a skilled estate attorney to provide dependable legal advice by seeking out referrals on their behalf.
Do not wait too long
Your parents must be of sound mind when creating their estate plan. The longer they wait, the higher the risk that a medical issue will occur that renders them unable to make decisions on their own. While it can be uncomfortable for all involved, having the estate planning conversation now, and not later, ensures a secure future for your parents and their assets.