Personally creating an estate plan will give you peace of mind, but there’s something else you need to consider: your parents.
If possible, you want to discuss estate planning with them, to ensure that they have everything in sound working order. Not only will this put your mind at ease, but it will do the same for them.
While no two estate plans are identical, here are some things to discuss with your parents:
- Will or trust: Both of these arrangements allow your parents to pass their assets down to whomever they best see fit. And that’s just the start. For example, a trust can also be used as part of their incapacity plan.
- Power of attorney: Your parents hope they can make their own decisions until the day they pass on, but this doesn’t always happen. A financial power of attorney, for example, gives another person the power to manage someone’s affairs in the event of incapacity. You can also create a power of attorney for health care.
- Long-term care planning: As your parents age, there’s a greater chance that they’ll eventually require long-term care, such as a stay in a nursing home. This isn’t something they should think about if the time comes. It’s better to plan in advance, such as by deciding how to pay for the required care. This will lead them to learn more about Medicaid and other government benefits they may qualify for.
How to talk about estate planning
Talking to your parents about estate planning is easier said than done, as you don’t want to give them the wrong impression. You’re trying to help. You’re not trying to angle for inclusion in their estate plan.
Here are some tips you can follow:
- Schedule a time to discuss their estate plan
- Don’t pry, but instead let them share what they want
- Don’t talk about yourself or how you’ll benefit
When you know what your parents should have in their estate plan, it’s easier to discuss this important matter with them. A comprehensive estate plan will ensure that your parents are able to protect their legal rights, both now and after their passing.