As your parents age, you may have concerns about their estate plan or lack thereof. For this reason, you realize the importance of stepping in and lending a helping hand. But there’s a problem. If you don’t take the right approach, you could give the impression that you’re angling for inclusion in their estate plan or only interested as a means of helping yourself.
There are many ways to assist your elderly parents with estate planning, with these tips helping to put you on the right track:
- Schedule a time and place: Let your parents know that you want to discuss their estate plan in advance. This is much better than showing up unannounced and bringing this touchy subject to light.
- Let them know from the get-go that it’s all about them: Be clear that the conversation has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with making sure they have their affairs in order.
- Ask key questions to jumpstart the conversation: Do you have an estate plan? When was the last time you reviewed it? What does your incapacity plan look like? Have you selected a nursing home should the time come for this type of care? These types of questions, among others, will put the conversation on the right track.
- Offer to bring in outside help: For example, you can offer to set your parents up with an estate planning attorney or tax professional. This allows you to remove yourself from the equation, all while knowing that they’re getting the help they need.
- Include others: For instance, you may have siblings who want to help. By including them in the conversation, you remove the potential for them to accuse you of working in your best interests behind their back.
You never know what will happen or what you’ll learn when you offer to assist your elderly parents with estate planning. Maybe everything goes as planned. Or maybe you run into some issues along the way that require more attention.
As long as you’re open, honest and genuine, you’re doing your part in helping your parents maintain an estate plan that protects them and provides peace of mind.