The winter holiday season is when many families get together. For families who live a distance from each other, it is often one of the only times during the year that they get to spend time with each other. It is often one of the only opportunities during the year that families get to have heart-to-heart conversations.
One of the topics that families should make a point of discussing – but often don’t – is what type, if any, estate plan the parents have in place. Having an estate plan in place for your parents is almost as important as having your own estate plan done. Why is this? If they do not have a plan in place, you will likely be the one that has to deal with all the issues never addressed when they are gone.
If you have talked to anyone who has had to take care of their parents’ estate who died without having an estate plan in place, they will tell you about the nightmare that it likely was. They may have spent hours cleaning up financial records, mediating fights between siblings that argued over heirlooms, and dividing up property. Your parents’ choice not to plan their future can end up costing you time, money, and a lot of heartaches.
How to Bring Up the Subject
No one really wants to talk to their parents about estate planning. It is not the easiest thing to do because none of us like to think about a day when we are no longer here. One of the easiest approaches might be to broach the topic of your own estate plan. For example, you could explain how you and your spouse have met with an attorney about making a will. Then ask if they have talked to an attorney about their will.
An experienced estate planning attorney will often ask about any inheritance you expect and how it will be structured. Your inheritance can affect your taxes. Also, if your parents need long-term care, the expense of it could fall on you if they run out of money. These are factors that must be considered when looking towards the future.
What You Need to Know About Your Parents’ Plan
The more information you can find out about what to expect when your parents are gone the better, but some parents may be reluctant to share this information. If that happens, ask them if they have discussed their wishes with an estate planning attorney in the past five years. If not, suggest to them that they make an appointment and follow up with them to make sure that they have done so.
You might also suggest that they contact a financial advisor to review their finances and ensure that they have sufficient funds to cover any potential long-term care costs. You may not need to know the exact details of these plans but knowing that they have a plan in place or are working on one can put your mind at ease.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Today
The dedicated Sacramento estate planning attorneys at Yee Law Group, PC have significant experience helping their clients make end-of-life plans and they can help you and/or your parents too. Contact us today to schedule a consultation so you can put your mind at ease that your future and that of your parents is taken care of the way it needs to be.
Our legal team wishes you and your family a happy and safe holiday season!