Estate planning is, for many people, as pleasant a prospect as washing with a sandpaper sponge. While the natural hesitation when it comes to estate planning is understandable, it can often be a source of stress, especially for adult children of elderly parents. If your parents haven’t begun estate planning, or you believe they need to do more, there are several questions you may want to ask them or issues you may want to talk about to help further their efforts.
When did you update your will?
A will is a keystone piece of many estate plans, and everyone needs one. It may be helpful to begin the conversation with your parents by asking them when they last updated their own will. By assuming that they have created one, the question can lead to a discussion about wills and why they are important.
Who do you think I should name as guardian over your grandchildren?
If you have children of your own, you can often use the grandparent/grandchild relationship as a way to discuss estate planning. You can ask your parents who they believe would be the best guardian for your children should something happen to you. Because you can only nominate a guardian by creating your own last will and testament, this will naturally lead to a discussion about whether your parents have developed their own estate plan. The discussion about how guardians are chosen and what would happen if you don’t nominate a guardian will also highlight the importance of creating a plan.