Many California residents understand the importance of estate planning. If your parents have never discussed this issue with you, it’s possible they haven’t begun to make these arrangements, and you should talk to them about where they stand.
Include your siblings
If you’re not an only child, include your siblings in the discussion about estate planning with your parents. It can allow you each a chance to voice your concerns and stress the importance of planning for the future. Chances are that each of you wishes to receive a specific asset; this gives you the opportunity to bring that up so there are no squabbles in the future.
Do it at the right time
There’s no perfect time to bring up the subject with your parents. It’s better to do it sooner rather than later, but it might be best to do it when circumstances have changed. For example, if your parents have recently gotten divorced or one of them got remarried, it’s an appropriate time. Unfortunately, some people wait until a crisis has occurred such as a medical emergency or death.
Ask if they have already started
Find out if your parents have already started creating their estate plan and what documents they have already created. Stress that they should go beyond just having a last will and testament; financial and medical powers of attorney, beneficiary designations and a trust are all components of a healthy estate plan. Explain why they need these other legal documents and how each can protect them and the family.
Estate planning is an essential step everyone should take to secure the future. When your parents have an estate plan, it can help you all gain peace of mind.