It’s never easy to talk to parents about estate planning, but it’s important to do so. This is especially true if they haven’t yet created a will or other estate planning documents in New York.
Why should you have the conversation?
If your parents don’t have estate planning documents in place, it could lead to chaos and confusion after they die. Imagine if there was no clear plan for distributing their assets or if they didn’t designate a legal representative to manage their affairs. This could lead to family members fighting over property and other possessions.
Also, if they do have a will or other documents but their estate plan is not up to date, it could lead to problems down the road. It’s much better to have these discussions while your parents are still alive and can make decisions about their estate.
What should you say?
It’s important to have this conversation when everyone is calm and rational. You don’t want to startle your parents or make them feel like they’re about to die. Instead, approach the topic gently and let them know that you’re concerned about their estate planning.
You might start by asking your parents if they’ve created a will or other estate planning documents. If they haven’t, you can gently suggest that it’s something to consider. You might also ask about their plans for their property and possessions after they die. If they have no plans, suggest some options that might be best for them.
It’s also important to ask your parents about their health and retirement plans. If they’re not sure what they want to do when they retire, you can suggest some estate planning strategies that will help them transition into retirement. If things have changed since they last updated their documents, such as getting married, having children or moving to a new state, remind them to update their documents.
The most important thing is to listen to your parents and respect their wishes. Even if you don’t agree with their plans, it’s important to support them. By talking to your parents about estate planning, you can help ensure that everyone follows their wishes regarding estate distribution when they’re gone.