If you are putting off the crucial conversation surrounding death and estate planning, now is the time to make it happen. When everyone is gathered for the holidays, ask questions to find out if your parents or grandparents have their affairs in order if something were to happen.
With each life change, estate plans should be updated. So make it part of your holiday gatherings to find out who needs to start estate planning and who needs a reminder to update their plans.
Read on to look for ways to start the conversation.
5 Ways to Introduce the Topic of Estate Planning
Some people think that talking about what will happen to assets if someone dies is a taboo topic. But the truth is, loved ones should be asking the tough questions to determine if parents or grandparents need help with estate planning. It is your duty as a caring family member to have these critical conversations.
1. Share that You Have an Estate Plan: Talk about the efforts you’ve made in estate planning and some of the benefits you’ve found in the process. Then go around the table and ask who else has taken measures to get their affairs in order.
2. Ask How Long They Plan to Keep Their House or Business: Approach the topic by discussing some of their assets and if they plan to downsize as they get older.
3. Discuss the Tax Benefits of Trusts: Highlight some benefits of passing down your assets through a trust. You can even talk about probate and what needs to happen to avoid probate.
4. Ask If They Need Help Updating Their Will: Offer your assistance with something they may not be sure about. For example, maybe they think they arranged a will at some point but would love for you to follow up for them.
5. Ask the Question, Are Your Affairs in Order If Something Were to Happen to You? Straight up, ask the question, with love. You don’t have to make it awkward. A direct conversation may be all it takes to get the process started.
It’s never easy to bring up these necessary topics. You can give a warning beforehand and say, I want to make it a priority to learn about your estate plan at family dinner this weekend. Then your loved one can get a chance to look into things without being blindsided or feeling uneducated on the subject.
We can help you get the conversation started at Miles & Hatcher, LLP. Schedule an appointment with us, and we can highlight how important it is to get started on estate planning. Call to schedule a free consultation: (909) 481-4080.