In addition to your own estate plan, you may have concerns about the approach your parents are taking. While you don't want to cross the line, it's okay to step in and let them know that you're willing to help.
Here are several tips you can follow if you want to discuss estate planning with your parents:
- Choose the right time and place: Jumping into this conversation unexpectedly can cause more harm than good, as your parents may not be ready to discuss their estate plan and finances with you. By setting up a scheduled time and place, everyone can prepare accordingly. This is much better than blurting out your thoughts during a family dinner or a drive to the airport.
- Don't focus on yourself: You're not having this conversation because it's good for you. You're having this conversation because you want what's best for your parents. Make this clear from the start, as it'll put everyone at ease and on the same page from the start.
- Communicate in a clear and concise manner: Any discussion regarding money has a way of making people nervous. This holds true even if you're discussing finances with people you love. Be careful about how you communicate, as you don't want to come across as someone who is trying to better their situation.
- Don't talk numbers: If your parents want to share numbers with you, such as how much money they have in the bank, it's okay to discuss it. However, you shouldn't poke around in an attempt to unearth this information.
- Be open and honest about your concerns: If you have any particular concerns, such as the fact that your parents have yet to create an estate plan, lay it out as soon as possible. Adding to this, let your parents know that you're more than willing to help them in any way possible.
It can be awkward to discuss estate planning with your parents. Just the same, it can bring a variety of questions and concerns to light, all of which you'll have to address at some point.
Even so, you shouldn't shy away from this conversation and hope that everything works out. Choose a good time to discuss the topic at hand, discuss your parent's current situation, share your feedback and provide assistance when possible.