As parents get older, adult children often start worrying more about their health and safety. They worry that their parents will get sick or pass away unexpectedly – especially during a pandemic that poses an exceptionally high risk to seniors.
While worrying about one’s parents can be unavoidable, one way to get some peace of mind is to talk to them about their estate plans and their wishes for their end-of-life care. This discussion, while sometimes uncomfortable, can be valuable for several reasons.
- A conversation now could prevent future disputes. Too often, family disputes arise after a person’s passing because someone feels there are grounds to contest a trust or will. When you discuss your parent’s plan ahead of time, you can prevent contests arising from misunderstandings or doubts.
- You can help your parents identify gaps or oversights. Your parents may have drafted their wills several years ago. Talking to them about it could highlight any people, property or changes that their plan may not accurately reflect. And if they don’t have a plan at all, talking to you could be the motivation they need to create one.
- You can ask questions. It is not uncommon for parents to pass away and leave their children with unanswered questions, particularly when it comes to their last wishes. A will can be the final word in inheritances and gifts, but it may not answer questions like what your parent would want you to do with the money, or why they want to be buried in a particular place. When you talk to them, you can ask these questions and get answers.
- You can glean information that helps you make your own plans for the future. If you and your parent are close, you could very well play a role in their estate plan. Your parent may have named you as an executor, trustee or guardian; they might expect you to take over family property; they may be leaving you a sizable inheritance. Having this information now can be crucial when it comes to things like relocating, starting a family or drafting your own estate plan.
For these reasons, it can be crucial to discuss your parents’ estate plans with them sooner, rather than later. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Sjoberg & Tebelius, P.A.. 651-738-3433, or contact us through our online form.