Adult children go through it every day; they have to find a way to broach the topic of estate planning with aging parents. Just because most people go through it at some point in their lives does not mean that it is easy.
Here are two ideas to help you delve delicately into this conversation with your folks.
Bring it up casually
Finding a segway into this difficult discussion by mentioning a recent news article you read or an acquaintance who experienced problems with their parents’ estate due to improper planning. This will grant you the opportunity to ask casually your parents whether they have made plans for their estate yet.
Reassure your folks that you can help if necessary
Some aging parents may feel hesitant about discussing their estate plans with their children or feel angry that their kids felt it necessary to bring mention at all. Remind your loved ones that you are asking so that you can help them get the ball rolling if they have not yet begun the process on their own. Some older people become angry or overwhelmed at the thought of their own deaths so remember to use kind and gentle words. Tell your family that you are there to provide as much or as little support as they need and only want to be sure that their affairs are in order.
Broaching the subject is a touchy subject in many families and requires a certain finesse and plenty of tact. Tread carefully and remain mindful that estate planning is very emotional for some families.