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Tips for approaching elders about estate planning

Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be about celebrating those in our armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice, but it is largely about family getting together to remember the past while enjoying the present. In these instances, it may be awkward to talk to one’s parents about estate planning.

After all, family gatherings are about celebration, and elderly family members may think estate planning is too morbid a topic for a Memorial Day barbeque.  Nevertheless, preparing to pass a parent’s estate is an important topic. Through this post, we offer some pointers and helpful discussion points to make the conversation easier. 

Talk about what a legacy means – Estate planning does not have to be simply about money or property. A discussion about a person’s legacy should center on how they want others to benefit from their offerings. Making legacy a discussion topic can help determine what is important to them.

Share your own estate planning experiences – Sharing your knowledge of creating a will or trust (even a basic one), can help your elders understand their options. This is particularly important if your elders believe that they do not need an estate plan.

Talk about what estate planning means to others – Some people may feel guilty because they couldn’t possibly divide their estate equally among their loved ones.  But by focusing on what will make others remember them, you can have a positive discussion about estate planning.

If you have additional questions about estate planning, an experienced attorney can advise you.

The preceding is not legal advice. 

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