Oct 2015

How to Talk to Your Parents about Estate Planning

Estate Planning for Elderly Family Members

Whether you need to talk to your older parent or another elderly family member, speaking to a senior about the aging process and his or her long-term needs when it comes to estate planning can be a difficult subject to broach. No one wants to hear that they’re getting older or facing the possibility of a loss of independence. Approaching these conversations with compassion and a clear plan can provide your loved one with the support and reassurance they need to face aging gracefully and confidently.

Although these are sensitive issues, they are nevertheless important. Talking about them early can allow you to make smart, well-reasoned decisions about your loved one’s care.

Be Straightforward

Most people have a tendency to avoid difficult subjects by couching them in flowery language or euphemisms. This might make you feel better, but it can also lead to confusion if your older loved one doesn’t understand what you are trying to say. Be honest and straightforward. You might be surprised to discover that your loved one is relieved to hear that you’re thinking of his or her needs and willing to plan ahead with estate planning.

Be a Partner in Your Loved One’s Care

Most people were taught to treat their elders with respect. Follow that same rule now and remember that you are dealing with an older adult – not a child. Your loved one might be a little slower to get around these days, but he or she is still an adult with a lifetime of knowledge and experiences under his or her belt. Communicate that you want to be a partner in his or her health care and ongoing needs, not a drill sergeant or prison warden.

Be Upfront about What You Can Contribute

If you have a busy family life, a hectic job, or other demands, be honest about how much you can help out. Don’t overextend yourself out of a sense of guilt or obligation. Your older loved one is probably already anxious about the possibility of losing his or her autonomy. Having a solid plan in place that clearly identifies who is available to help with clearly identified tasks, such as driving a parent to doctors’ appointments, can provide much-needed stability.

Our Estate Planning Law Firm Can Help

Here at The Law Offices of Randy L. Smith, LLC, we make it a goal to maintain that personal touch, and we want to help you and your elderly parents or family member navigate the ins and outs of estate planning.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our estate planning lawyers. We are happy to help.