It’s never an easy conversation, but chatting with your parents about estate planning is crucial. The sooner you start the conversation, the sooner you can get started creating a strong plan for you and your family’s financial future.

Follow the guide below for tips about planning the estate planning conversation with your parents, and schedule a free consultation with Thomas Walters lawyers today to learn more about this important process.

Plan The Conversation With Adult Siblings And Spouses

The best way to ensure the success of this often difficult conversation is to be well prepared entering the conversation by planning with others. For example, if you are interested in starting the estate planning conversation with your elderly parents, talk to your siblings and your spouse beforehand. You may wish to spark the conversation during a family reunion or dinner, because these are typically scenarios in which all sides of the family are present. Schedule a free consultation with an estate planning lawyer ahead of time to ask any pertinent questions you have about the process, and so you can come prepared when the right time to have the conversation arises.

Do Your Research And Come Equipped With Actionable Advice

Knowing the components of a strong estate plan is a smart way to be prepared for the estate planning conversion. By sharing with your parents that you know and understand all the important functions of an estate plan, you demonstrate the importance of the process and your readiness to be of help. It can be a lot of work to learn the potential components of an estate plan, such as a trust, will, health care proxy, durable power of attorney, and more, so it’s understandable if you feel that you need help. At Thomas Walters, PLLC, our lawyers offer a free consultation to anyone interested in getting this process started. We’re here to define any unusual terms, answer and pressing questions, and to reassure you and your family about their plans for the future. It can be hard to tackle these tough conversations on your own, so turn to a trusted legal advisor from Thomas Walters to help you. In the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with the terms below to begin building your knowledge about estate planning.

Health care proxy: A health care proxy is an agent named in a health care declaration to make medical decisions for the person signing the document (the principal) when he or she is unable to make decisions for himself or herself. A health care declaration is a written legal document that sets out how a person should be cared for in case of an emergency or incapacity.

Durable power of attorney: A durable power of attorney refers to a power of attorney which typically remains in effect until the death of the principal or until the document is revoked. A durable power of attorney, the durability of which must be explicitly stated, remains valid even in the event the principal is unable to make personal decisions due to incapacity.

Last will and testament: An antiquated term that refers to the document written by a testator that details what is to happen to property owned by that testator upon death. This term is still frequently used in an interchangeable way to mean a will, though to be precise a last will and testament refers to the most recent version of a will. 

Asset: An asset is something of value owned by an individual or organization. An asset can be physical property like a building or intangible property such as a patent.

Executor: Someone named in a will as the person who should carry out the testator’s formal wishes.

Be Prompt And Don’t Delay The Conversation

Although it’s never easy to start the conversation about estate planning, the sooner you have this conversation, the better. Life is unpredictable, so you never know when a catastrophic situation can arise. Unfortunately, accidents happen every day, so it’s best to be proactively prepared in case you are affected.

Schedule A Free Consultation With An Estate Planning Lawyer To Get Started

It can be hard to have this conversation with your parents, but it is important. At Thomas Walters, our estate planning attorneys can work alongside you making sure everything in your estate plan is binding and set in stone. If you need to modify any aspect of an estate plan you already have in place, we can help with that too. No matter what your needs are, Thomas Walters, PLLC has you covered. 

Schedule a free consultation with our team to get started today.