After over a year of estate planning being a trending topic, we all know the importance of an estate plan. But, for those of us that have loved ones, like parents and older aunts and uncles, they may not similarly know. This is why many of our readers are looking for steps that can help them broach the estate planning topic to their loved ones.
Step 1: Emphasize eliminating worry and potential familial strife
The entire point of estate planning is to ensure that the transfer of property and assets is seamless, minimizing tax liabilities. Though, one of the best parts of an effective and legally enforceable estate plan is eliminating potential familial strife. This should be a huge part of the conversation because, especially parents, tend to think that the kids can work it out. They assume that, just because everyone gets along now, that will remain the same after their death. This, unfortunately, is not the case for most families. And, dying without an estate plan can mean years of fighting between family members, destroying familial relationships and quickly reducing or eliminating one’s inheritance.
Step 2: Ensure the conversation is open and honest and about the loved one
A huge reason why the estate planning conversation can be uncomfortable is because the loved one does not want to upset the family. This is why ensuring that this conversation is open and honest is so important. Ensure they know the conversation is about their wants and needs, not just about the wants and needs of those left behind. This will also help avoid the morbid aspects of the conversation because it will focus on what they want now.
Step 3: Do not put the conversation off
Perhaps, the best bit of advice is to not put this conversation off any longer. Regardless of one’s age or amount of assets, everyone needs an estate plan. Even just discussing one’s end-of-life wants needs to be done now. We never know how much time we have left, so putting it off may mean putting it off until it is too late.
Step 4: Call an attorney
After one has convinced their loved one to do an estate plan and has a good idea of what they are looking to accomplish, it is time to contact a Golden, Colorado, estate planning attorney. It is the attorney’s job to make those wants and needs a reality, and more importantly, make the estate plan legally enforceable.