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How to approach parents about estate planning

Originally posted on 12/09/2016

A younger person helps his parents address their legal needs while planning for their estate.Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those with older or elderly parents, the topic of estate planning may be an awkward and uncomfortable topic to broach.

After all, you definitely care about how your loved ones are cared for as they age, but you don’t want to be presumptuous and damage your relationship. This post will provide some helpful tips.

1. Find out what is important to them

A discussion about estate planning should not be about you (or how much money they can leave). Rather, it should be about how they will be remembered, and how they can continue to influence the family through the legacy they want to leave. Discussions about money can seem disingenuous, while talks about family legacy are much more important.

2. Stress the importance of health

Above all, parents should be aware of how important their health is to the family. Some elderly parents may feel as if people do not care about them as much because their health is declining, or that they feel like a burden on family members. Discussions surrounding estate planning should also include steps to maintain an aging parent’s health.

3. Keep a tone of respect

No matter how much time has passed since your childhood, parents still believe that they are your parents, and that they know best for you (as well as themselves). This means that you should still maintain an air of respect for them when discussing their estate plan. 

Partner with an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

Having these sometimes uncomfortable conversations is important as you plan for your parents' future. The more you know about their intersts and needs, the more likely you are to give them what they want. The experienced attorneys at Aldrich Legal Services have been in the estate planning field for more than 21 years. Give our team a call today to set an appointment with one of our legal experts.

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