Although you may be close to your parents, talking about their plans after their passing can be a hard and awkward conversation to have. To help move this conversation along, we wanted to share some tips to make it run smoother.
1. Choose the Right Setting
When having tough conversations, it is best to have them privately and at a time where you have everyone’s full attention.
Once you have everyone’s attention, it is a good time to mention your future plans and segway into learning about your parents’ plan. Start by mentioning something like “I’ve been thinking a lot about my future lately, and I decided to purchase life insurance to make sure that I’m covered.” By putting it on yourself, it does not put the pressure on your parents, and you get to ease into the conversation naturally.
Another idea from Business Insider is to mention reading an article on this topic or mention a friend you knew who never had the conversation with their parents and is now trying to figure it out.
2. Let Your Parents Take the Lead
Once you’ve brought up the conversation, let your parents share their thoughts, tell you what their plan is, and share any items they feel they haven’t covered with you yet.
3. Do Your Research
Before having this conversation with your family, make sure to brush up on some of the estate planning and trust terminology. Also, research options of what your parents can do regarding their finances in case they do not already have a plan in place. You can also read about how other people helped manage their parents’ affairs to give you a better understanding of what you should do.
Related Article: What is a Trust Fund and How Does It Work?
4. Talk In Depth
Be transparent and let your parents know that you’re not concerned about specific dollar amounts – you just want to make sure that they have a plan in place.
Ask your parents if they have a specific place where they keep important documents, passwords and if there is anything else the family should know.
It is also a good idea to discuss long-term care and make sure to ask about specific details regarding who is in charge of their trusts, wills, healthcare, and other financial documentation.
5. Make Sure to Include the Whole Family
In addition to having this conversation with your parents, it is also beneficial to have your siblings present to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Make it a point to check in as a family every six months or every year to make sure everyone is still in agreement and understands what needs to take place if something happens to your parents. You and your siblings should also be up-to-date on the status of notarized legal forms, and you may have questions that arise later on that you will want answers to.
Do you have other suggestions that have worked for you? Let us know!
Marcia L. Campbell, CPA is committed to helping each client plan for the personal and financial decisions that need to be made for the future. Marcia’s team has a genuine interest in your well-being and a well-established list of services to help guide you through this process.
If you need help, please contact us by filling out a Contact Form or giving our office a call at +1(951)686-3608.