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How do you ask your parents if they’ve done any estate planning?

| Apr 13, 2021 | Estate Planning

Are you concerned that your parents haven’t done any estate planning? Are you worried about what that means for you and your siblings? 

You may feel uncomfortable bringing up estate planning. You don’t want to sound insulting or greedy after all. You just want honest answers. What can you do? 

Identifying a natural way to have a conversation about estate planning

One thing that helps is finding a natural “in” that allows you to start the conversation organically. For instance, maybe a co-worker’s parents passed away without an estate plan in place, and they’re involved in a complex court case that you’d rather avoid. You can reference that contentious situation, note that you and your siblings don’t want to find yourselves in a similar one and then ask your parents if they have a plan. Contextualizing the conversation this way feels more natural than bringing estate planning up out of the blue. 

You should also emphasize relationships, not assets when you talk. You don’t want the conversation to come off like you’re just trying to find out how much money you’ll get. Instead, talk about how you don’t want there to be disagreements that may cause hard feelings to develop between you and your siblings. You should emphasize that you love your brothers and sisters and don’t want money to come between you. You should let your parents know that having an estate plan is the best way your parents can work toward that goal. 

Why you need to have a comprehensive estate plan

Every adult can benefit from engaging in estate planning, no matter their age or stage in life. An attorney can advise you how having a plan in place can minimize the chances of there being contentious legal battles down the road.