Discussing estate planning with aging parents

On Behalf of | May 16, 2023 | elder law, Estate Planning

There comes a time in almost everyone’s life when they age and need assistance. While it can be difficult for adult children to discuss estate planning with their aging parents, it is important to do so to ensure that their parents’ wishes are carried out.

Approaching the conversation

It’s helpful to choose a setting for the discussion at the right time and in a comfortable, private space. It can be an emotional conversation and it is important for adult children to approach the subject with sensitivity. Parents may have concerns about losing control over decision-making.

Adult children can focus on the goals their parents may have for their estate, such as whether they want to provide for future generations or contribute to any charitable causes that are important to them. By setting a plan in place, it can help ensure that their assets are distributed accordingly.

Next steps

Once a parent decides to create an estate plan, there are a few options they can consider. They can create a will, which outlines asset distribution after their death. A will goes through probate to validate the will and ensure there is court supervision over the distribution process. The person making the will can change it at any time.

They can also choose to create a trust. This is a legal arrangement where a trustee holds and manages the assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries. It may provide longer-term protection of assets.

Whether to use a will or trust will depend on the person’s circumstances. As their needs and wishes change, they can update the estate plan.