You may be concerned that your parents haven’t done their estate planning. It’s very common for people to procrastinate, and the next generation may be worried that there isn’t a plan in place. If something unexpected happens, what can they do?
As a result, you may be thinking about asking your parents if they have made an estate plan or what it includes. But you don’t want them to think that you’re just worried about getting your inheritance or how much money you’re going to receive. How do you have this conversation in a respectful and productive way?
Explain why you want to know
First of all, explain why you’re asking about the plan. For example, maybe you’re concerned that you’re going to have to make medical decisions on your parents’ behalf, but there’s no advance directive, so you don’t know what they would want.
Include other family members
Another useful tactic is to include siblings in this conversation. If you’re worried that it will appear that you are just looking out for your own interests, making it a family conversation shows that your real priority is helping things go smoothly for everyone.
Do your own estate planning
If you need a way to break the ice or bring up the topic, one potential idea is simply to make your own estate plan. You will then see what steps you need to take and some of the benefits of having a plan. This gives you an easy way to bring up the topic by mentioning how helpful you believe estate planning has been in your life and then asking your parents if they have taken the same steps that you have. Throughout this whole process, be sure you are well aware of your legal options.