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Guidelines for having “The Talk” about Estate Planning

 

Guidelines for having “The Talk” with your parents about Estate Planning

Have you had “THE TALK” with your parents about their estate plans? If not, don’t worry you’re not alone. 34% of parents haven’t had a detailed conversation with their adult children about their living expenses in retirement 43% of parents said they haven’t had detailed discussions about their long-term-care plans, according to a survey of 221 parents (age 55+) and their adult children, conducted by Fidelity Investments. Here’s some questions to ask first when talking to your family.

1. Have you done any Estate Planning thus far? – Ask this question first, you might be surprised by the answer, many parents have started the process but need guidance completing it. This provides a great head start if some documents have already been drafted. You can now steer the conversation towards updating and amending them.

2. If you haven’t started Estate Planning yet, what do you have in mind? – Make it clear from the beginning your intentions are only to help and care for your parents. Make it clear they still have control over their own decisions.

3. Have you considered contacting an estate planning Attorney? – You can do some research on this before having the conversation with your parents. If might be helpful to even provide some insight on attorneys in the area you’ve sought out already.

4. What are your plans post retirement? – This question is crucial and determines how you move forward. Ask your parents what their plans are for the home and their finances, these things need to be discussed so documents can be drafted to protect their assets.

5. Who are you leaving your home to? Who will make financial and business decisions for you and where are the accounts located? – This will help determine what estate plans your parents need. A Land Trust for the home, and Powers of Attorney for them also. Depending on financials of the estate a Living Trust may be necessary also. The actual amounts in each account don’t need to be discussed or brought up only the locations of the accounts so Power of Attorney documents can be given to the proper institutions.