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Mom, dad mum on estate planning: How do you spur conversation?

Have you ever noticed as the adult son or daughter of loving parents that mom and dad still treat you like a child?

We don’t mean lecturing you about your political views or questioning your purchase of a vehicle other than one they think would have made for a more sensible choice.

Rather, we’re spotlighting something more elemental here that goes to the heart of protection and that perpetually envisions you as being the necessary recipient of parental safeguarding.

Millions of parents in California and nationally are like that, end of story. And it matters not a whit whether you just graduated from college or are already sporting a few gray hairs yourself.

A recent article on parental/adult child interactions regarding estate planning notes the you-are-forever-a-child phenomenon, stressing that, “Parents are accustomed to caring for children, not being cared for by them.”

That universal and timeless truism might in fact make you feel a bit warm and fuzzy even as a 40-something mom or dad yourself. Conversely, though, it can create some real problems when it comes to your necessary familiarity with the essential details of your parents’ estate plan.

In short: They likely have crafted one, and you feel – probably rightly so – that you need to be introduced to its fundamentals. As the above media piece on planning notes, many adult children are designated as personal representatives of their parents’ estates. Being in the dark concerning important matters like an advance health care directive, durable power of attorney relevant to financial matters and other key concerns promotes no one’s interests.

We’ll focus in our next blog post on some tips for opening the doors of communication with your parents regarding what they have done – and maybe haven’t done, as well --- in the planning realm. We hope you will find it informative.

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