Estate planning: the importance of talking to your aging parents

Estate planning is very important in order to make sure a person's wishes are carried out when they pass away. While it may seem uncomfortable, talking to your aging parents about their estate planning is also very important. There are benefits to planning together, and to making sure your parents' estate is handled the way they would want it to be after they are gone. Many estates have fully or partially gone to people they were not intended to belong to, simply because of a lack of planning. You can avoid that by working with your aging parents to help them with their estate planning needs.

Open the Lines of Communication

The biggest benefit of talking to your aging parents about their estate planning, and working on that plan together, is getting the lines of communication open. It can be a difficult conversation to start, because of the ideas surrounding death. It's taboo in many cultures, but it's still an important issue. Since everyone will pass away at some point, everyone should have a plan for what happens to his or her assets when that passing occurs. By being willing to be honest and open with your aging parents, you can start the conversation and make sure that they have the opportunity to make their wishes known.

Understand Everyone's Role

Sometimes a parent will make assumptions about what a child will do as the parent ages. While it may be a logical assumption, it's very important that the child is aware of it and agrees to it. In short, aging parents who plan their estates with their children ensure that those children know what's expected of them and what they can do if they don't feel comfortable taking on a particular role. First-born children are often asked to be executor of the will, and female children more often end up in caregiving roles. If those aren't things you're willing to take on, you should help your parents make other arrangements when they're planning their estate.

To get started on estate planning for your aging parents or for yourself, reach out to the Estate Planning Law Group of Georgia, James M. Miskell P.C. today. We can help you make your plans, and work with your parents to ensure their last wishes are carried out properly. That can provide security for the future and peace of mind for the present. Then everyone involved will know what role they're asked to play, and they will have comfort in the knowledge that there won't be unexpected and unintended consequences of poor estate planning.

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