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How to broach the topic of estate planning with aging loved ones

| Apr 22, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Writing a will, designating a Power of Attorney and organizing assets is often a very personal process. However, for many children with aging parents, concerns over estate plans are common. Many Florida families may wish to raise the topic with loved ones, especially as they get older. But, how can this conversation be raised without intruding on the parent or family member’s privacy or pride?

Here are a few ways children can try to bring up estate planning considerations with their parents, without being forceful or crossing boundaries:

  • Try asking for advice. Instead of interrogating a parent about the contents of their own estate plans, children can tactfully raise the topic by asking for advice on their own planning processes. If parents have made key decisions, they may be willing to share them as a way to provide advice to their children. If they have not, this might make them consider that it could be time to do so.
  • Alternatively, ask directly with love and concern. Depending on the relationship, it might be possible to more directly ask if the legal documents are ready. It can help to have a “catalyst” for this conversation — maybe reference a recent article or a situation a friend is going through. This will help parents understand the reasons for questioning without feeling like it’s a personal attack.
  • Suggest doing it together. Another option is to invite parents to join children in their estate planning process. This may help them feel like the move is smart financially, not just a rite of passage that is necessary because of their age.

Respect is key in these types of conversations, especially since the topic of estate planning can be sensitive for many. If a parent isn’t ready for the conversation the first time it is broached, it might be helpful to try a different tactic, or ask siblings who might have a different relationship/approach to help. If they signal that they are ready to get started, help by connecting them with a Florida estate planning attorney who can answer questions and make sure they fully understand the decisions being made.