How to Talk to Loved Ones About Estate Planning

elders talking to woman

Bringing up matters of estate planning with your loved ones can feel uncomfortable. You will be forced to talk about sensitive subjects such as death and be open with financial issues, which can be difficult even among the closest families. Unfortunately, this stops many of us from setting up wills or leaving proper instructions to our loved ones after we’ve passed.

Survey data from found that only 42% of Americans have a will or living trust. This lack of advanced planning can cause hardships and emotional stress during an already painful period. The sooner you begin communicating, the faster your family can rest easy knowing that they are making the best choices for the future. To help you broach the subject of estate planning, use these tips below from our estate planning attorneys.

Remember that Timing is Everything

When it comes to having “the talk,” you want to start on the right foot, and that begins with your timing. Unsurprisingly, this isn’t a light conversation, and it may be one you have more than once. With that in mind, we recommend choosing a positive and relatively calm period in a private environment.

Start by Being General

Ideally, the parents would bring up the subject matter, but in cases where the children must, they should ease into it. It can be jarring to hear, “Let’s talk about your final wishes.” Instead, try to begin the conversation by asking them questions.

Rather than going diving into the details immediately, ask when they’ve last updated their will or living trust. It may be shocking for your parents at first, but it should eventually lead to open dialogue.

Be Honest with Your Intentions

Estate planning is so much more than who gets what, and you should assure your loved ones that you are not trying to inquire about their financial situation. Remind them that you want their final wishes to be met, which means discussing their will, medical care, naming a power of attorney, and more.

Consult an Attorney

An attorney who specializes in estate planning can help you gather the appropriate legal documents and guide you through the delicate process of estate planning. At Russo Law Offices LLC, our team is here to go over all your concerns and effectively capture your loved ones’ wishes.

Contact our estate planning firm today at (630) 608-6697 to schedule your consultation.

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