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Know someone without an estate plan? Here’s how to talk to them

Far too many people wait too long to create an estate plan. This is primarily on account of individuals struggling to come to terms with the reality that they will eventually pass away. It’s completely understandable. This is a difficult topic that isn’t easy to talk about. But in order to provide for your loved ones as best as possible and ensure that your assets are distributed how you want, you need to be brave and talk about what you envision for the future after you’re gone.

Help your parents think about what’s best for their estate and their loved ones

Even if you have your own estate plan, you might find that your parents have been putting it off for some time. This can jeopardize their estate, potentially leading to an outcome they would have never intended. So, to help them out, you might want to spur a conversation about estate planning and the future. Here are a few tips to get that conversation rolling:

  • Be empathetic: This is a difficult topic to address, especially as you age and the reality of death seems much more real. Be understanding to help ease into the conversation.
  • Focus on values: There are things that are really important to your parents. Talk about those things and how an estate plan might help them protect them.
  • Don’t pressure: Don’t make your parents feel pressured to act in any certain way. It can turn them off to estate planning and it might make it look like coercion has occurred.
  • Tell other family members: Let your other family members know that you plan to talk to your parents. They might be able to help, and it can head off any allegations of wrongdoing.
  • Ease into the conversation: You’ll want to ease into a conversation about estate planning, so think about starting with your concerns or a story of someone else who failed to create an effective estate plan.
  • Be patient: These conversations are usually ongoing, so don’t expect to wrap it up in one sit-down.

Many people struggle to think about estate planning, but those who take the necessary steps to create a plan that is right for them usually feel a burden lifted from their shoulders. After you discuss these matters with your parents, you might want to refer them to an estate planning attorney who can help them create a plan that protects their loved ones, their assets, and their vision of the future for years to come.

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