Many adult children feel a bit uncomfortable asking their parents about their estate plans. For one thing, it deals with money, and some people are just never comfortable talking about financial issues. For another, these adult children may feel like asking questions will give the impression that they are just waiting for their parents to pass away so they can get their inheritance.
But you may be very concerned about your parents’ estate plan, or the lack thereof. How do you bring this up properly?
Don’t focus on money
One of the keys here is to ignore the money entirely. Just talk about how the estate plan can help you and your siblings. For instance, maybe you don’t know what medical decisions your parents would want you to make. Simply asking them if they have thought about this can be a good jumping-off point to discuss making a complete estate plan.
Another tactic that can be helpful is to include your siblings (if you’re not an only child). This makes it very clear that you’re not just trying to get that inheritance for yourself and that you do care about how it impacts the entire family.
Use negative examples
Finally, if you’ve seen other families go through this process, you may have some examples you can use. These negative events, such as siblings getting into an estate dispute because their parents passed away without leaving a will, can show your parents why it’s so important to do that planning in advance. It’s not about money, but about doing what’s best for everyone involved.
If you have any questions about the estate planning process, it’s very important to learn all that you can prior to setting up a plan.