Naperville Estate Planning Lawyer on How to Discuss Estate Plans with Aging Parents
If you have parents nearing retirement and they do not have adequate estate plans, you may be worried about how to bring up the topic of estate planning with them. It can be incredibly hard to discuss what will happen after your parents pass away with them, but it is a crucial conversation. Dying without, at the very least, a last will and testament leaves surviving family and friends with the burdensome task of finalizing the deceased person’s affairs and guessing what he or she would have wanted. Not having adequate estate plans could also likely result in higher estate taxes. If you want to talk to your parents about creating a will, trust, or other estate document, it may be helpful to learn what experts say you should include in the conversation.
Help Your Parents Understand Why They Need Estate Plans
Many people incorrectly assume that an estate plan is only necessary for the ultra-rich or those with complex assets and investments. The truth is that everyone needs at least some degree of estate planning. When famed singer Aretha Franklin passed away last year, she had no will or trust to dictate her final wishes or how her property should be distributed to heirs. Now, her adult children must spend a great deal of time and emotional energy in probate court figuring out how estate will be distributed. Passing away without a will leaves deeply personal decisions up to strangers and state law. It can also have an adverse financial effect on the decedent’s estate and his or her surviving family.
Be Patient and Go at Your Parents’ Pace
When you ask your parents to make a will, you are essentially asking them to face their own mortality. It is important to understand that this is a monumental request. Be compassionate and patient with your parents if they seem unreceptive to discussing estate plans. You may need to have the conversation about estate planning in stages so that it is not overwhelming. If your family is one that tends to argue, setting some rules for the conversation such as “only one person talks at a time” or “no interrupting” can be beneficial.
Contact a Knowledgeable DuPage Estate Planning Attorney for Help
You and your family do not have to face the foreboding world of estate planning alone. For sound legal guidance regarding wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents, contact the skilled Naperville estate planning lawyers at the Gierach Law Firm. Call us at (630) 756-1160 today.