When it comes time to discuss your parents’ estate plan, it’s important to have a plan of your own as to how the conversation should go. The topic can be a bit uncomfortable because you are discussing end-of-life plans, and nobody really likes talking about dying. Because estate planning in California can be complex, it is necessary to have the conversation even though it may be tough, and there are important questions that should be asked.
What are your parents’ intentions?
Ask your parents for their goals in estate planning. What is most important to them regarding their assets after they are gone? Do they have charities they wish to support after they pass, or do they have financial goals for their family? Request a copy of all estate planning documents and review them with your parents to make sure you understand their wishes.
Know who the players are
You will need to know Who the legal advisor is that holds and administrates the estate documents. You will also need to know where the documents are kept. Having this basic information will make things easier when the time comes to put their wishes into action.
Have all assets been addressed?
Help your parents review all their assets to make sure each one has been identified in the estate plan. You might be able to help them find missing links that are important and should be included.
The estate planning conversation should be practical and not pushy. If you sense your parents are uncomfortable talking about a particular aspect of their end-of-life plans, you should not force that topic. You don’t have to know everything all at once, and it may take several conversations for you to gain a full understanding of their goals.