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On a Vacation? It's a Perfect Time to Talk About Estate Planning

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On a Vacation? It's a Perfect Time to Talk About Estate Planning

April 18, 2014
Geoff Hoatson

If you are like most Americans, you will probably be spending at least some of your vacation time this summer with older family members. While there are few perfect times to talk with parents about their estate plan, the relaxed times you spend together on vacation can be one of them.

Here are some tips on how to conduct this critical conversation:

Find a good place to start. One of the best ways to ease your parents into a financial discussion is to bring up your own. Tell your parents that you were looking into your own estate plan and wondering if they had already executed their own. Sometimes you can use scare tactics to good effect – there are lots of stories about celebrities or others who have neglected to plan and paid the price with dire consequences. In fact, you've probably read some of those stories here on my blog.

Take it easy. If you feel that parents made need some help with organizing their financial lives, be reassuring rather than applying pressure. Let them know that you want to make sure their financial independence is kept intact for as long as possible. Take things one step at a time, such as extending an offer to help them use online bill pay or assist them with organizing their information at tax time.

Respect boundaries. Many parents feel uncomfortable discussing their finances with their children. If you face this obstacle, let your parents know that you at least need to know where to find their important documents when it becomes necessary, but that you aren’t attempting to control them in anyway. You simply want to help and make things as easy as possible for you and your siblings when something does happen.

Sometimes initiating a conversation with parents about estate planning can be easier with the help of a Personal Family Lawyer®. We can help with a Family Wealth Planning Session. Call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk about designing an estate plan that fits the needs of you and your family.

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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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