Estate Planning Advice for Starting Difficult Family Conversations

Do you have aging parents, or are you worried about what you may be leaving behind? Dreading having that hard conversation about estate planning?  

Nobody wants to think about the possibility of their loved ones passing away but preparing for these kinds of things in advance can provide everybody with some much-needed peace of mind.

Know you need to have a conversation about estate planning, but not sure where to start? In this article, we are sharing estate planning advice for starting difficulty family conversations.

Estate Planning Advice Tips

Estate planning is not easy, but there are ways to take some of the stress and heartache out of it. Here are some useful tips for approaching the estate planning process in the easiest and most efficient way possible.

Be Sensitive

Death can be a scary subject to many people, as can the idea of aging in general.  Be sensitive by showing the sincerity of your intentions.  Remind your family that you are having these conversations because you want everyone to be on the same page about what the plan is.

It is also best to be respectful of when and where to have this conversation. Try to choose a positive and comfortable environment to chat.  Also, aim to have this conversation during a time of relative calmness.

The last thing you want to do is wait until a time of crisis to chat about this topic. If you hold the conversation at the wrong time, you run the risk of people not being emotionally ready or available to have this critical conversation.

Try to schedule a conversation in advance, so people know what to anticipate. Or, if you would prefer to do it more organically, bring it up while you are doing a relaxing or calm activity like going for a walk.

Stress the Importance of Estate Planning

Many people will shut down when estate plan conversations are brought up, so it is important to stress the importance of having it. Try to do this by using current events or an anecdote to highlight how sudden and unexpected death can be, and how much hardship can be caused by not having an estate plan ready.

And if you have done your estate plan, or have talked with a lawyer about services, bring up how you went about it with your loved one. Planning can also help you avoid the common mistakes associated with the process.

Find the Approach That Makes the Most Sense for Your Family

Delicate issues like estate planning do not have a one-size-fits-all approach. That is because the circumstances and personalities involved can significantly differ.

If you think your parents may respond to the conversation in a hostile manner, try to talk to them one-on-one rather than as a couple. And if they are very much against the conversation, try to plan a series of smaller talks to warm them up to the idea. This will help you keep things calmer and more focused.

Benefits of an Estate Planning Conversation

Estate planning is about more than asset protection and explaining intentions. It is about bringing your family together and taking control of your collective future instead of leaving it up to a court-appointed administrator. It also inspires other members of your family whether they are your parents, siblings, or children to connect with a lawyer and develop a responsible plan for when something happens.

Need Help Planning?

Estate planning is important. It helps you protect your intellectual, spiritual, and human assets. Now that you have some estate planning advice in hand, you can approach the topic in the smartest and most sensitive way possible.

Need estate planning services? Not sure where to start? Contact us to to see how our family-friendly law firm can help you with the process.

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