When you think of long-term estate planning, you likely focus on the security of your children or grandchildren. However, you may need to consider helping your parents, too.
Communicating with your parents about creating a plan for their assets helps eliminate problems in the future and avoid family disputes.
Reasons to discuss an estate plan with your parents
Having a conversation with your parents about their property and assets has many advantages. Addressing essential concerns ahead of any pressing needs helps ensure better care for them and minimizes stress for family members. Some reasons to make estate planning a family discussion include:
- Knowing who will be the executor of the estate
- Learning where your parents keep necessary estate documents
- Helping you prepare for your future by creating an outline for long-term care of your parents in the event of illness
- Avoiding potential estate settlement issues
Essential considerations to review
It’s important to evaluate and understand what your parents have already done regarding their estate plan and what may need updating. Some questions to ask include:
- Do all the accounts have a named beneficiary?
- Is there a documented list of trusted contacts?
- Where do they store essential passwords?
- Is there a written record of assets, accounts and insurance policies?
- Are there any accounts that they must close or transfer?
- Do any trusts need updating?
- Are there enough funds to cover possible health, nursing or home care down the road?
These honest conversations may feel awkward and could be unpleasant. However, setting goals as a family helps everyone understand the required elements of creating a secure financial future.