It can be hard to talk to your parents about estate planning. Maybe you don’t want to think about the day they’re gone, or that they might experience a decline in health that severely limits their ability to think clearly.
However, if you don’t have this conversation when your parents are able to share key financial information and instructions, their passing or incapacitation will be even more painful for you. In fact, more than half of Americans think estate planning is important, but only 33% have a will.
Talking to your parents about estate planning law in LA can be intimidating, but there are several steps you can take to make it easier.
#1: Be Sure to Include Everyone Involved
Include your siblings and other relatives in your estate planning conversation with your parents. This is so you won’t have to get into a fight over what your parents would have wanted. You can also reduce distrust between family members by including siblings and other relatives. It is best to hire an estate planning lawyer in LA this early in the stage to know how best to approach the situation.
#2: Talk About Estate Planning at the Right Time
It can be tough to decide when to talk to your parents about estate planning, too. Time is of the essence, no matter when you do it.
People advise waiting until there’s a life-changing event, like a new baby or a tax law change, but that’s risky. You should talk to your parents now about estate planning, because nothing is certain in life.
#3: Find Out What Your Parents Did for Estate Planning
Talk to your parents if they’ve already done some estate planning and see if anything needs to be updated. You may have to start over if they haven’t done anything.
#4: Cover Important Estate Planning Topics
You probably won’t cover everything about estate planning with your parents in one conversation. Your parents might have to pause and think about some of these issues. After the series of discussions, you should have covered the following key estate planning topics.
- Estate Plan: By reviewing the estate plan, make sure everyone understands what the documents say and how they’ll be handled. Your parents can discuss why the plan was put in place and ask questions to make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Net-Worth Statement: Net-worth statements help kids understand their parents’ wealth. Additionally, it can give children peace of mind that their parents have the wealth to cover expenses later in life, like health care.
- Family Business: Discuss a succession plan if there’s a family business. Who’s going to take over the business after your parents die?
- Power of Attorney: It’s always a good idea to have a power of attorney in an estate plan. As soon as the power of attorney is named, they’re responsible for managing all financial matters for the person. A power of attorney can be given to any competent adult (over 18).
- Trust: Families can avoid probate and even probate court with trusts. In the future, a trust could help cover the cost of expensive nursing homes and long-term care. Trusts aren’t for everyone, though. Trusts have pros and cons, including potentially high upfront costs.
#5: Set Long-Term Goals Together
You can prevent unpleasant surprises by setting long-term goals together. We often see parents struggling to treat their kids equally and fairly when they don’t understand what those terms mean to them. Having periodic meetings with the parents’ attorney or financial professional helps all of them stay on track and set long-term goals together.
Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer Today
Even though it’s hard to think of life after death, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. At The Law Office of R. Grace Rodriguez, our team of Los Angeles estate planning attorneys will help you ease some of the stress on your loved ones.
Whether you’re planning your own estate or carrying out someone else’s wishes, you’ll need legal guidance every step of the way. We can help with wills, trusts, and estates, customizing solutions based on the circumstances of your case.
If you need an experienced lawyer, contact our firm today. Fill out our form or call us at (818) 734-7223.