Heart to Heart

It’s an uncomfortable conversation to have with your parents…and I am not referring to the birds and the bees. This one involves their estate and resolving any uncertainties before they’re gone.

Death is not a pleasant subject, but it is going to come eventually and it’s better to be prepared.

Assure your parents that you are only bringing up the subject to guarantee that their estate planning wishes are followed and to avoid potential problems. Explain that dealing with their deaths will be hard enough without difficulties in settling the estate.

Communicate to them that you don’t need to know any specifics, such as dollar amounts. However, either an attorney or a trusted friend needs to know everything about their estate. This includes account numbers and locations, insurance policies, retirement plans, investment accounts, and other financial assets. Again, remind them that you don’t need to know what is in them; just the fact that they exist.

Get the names and addresses of their attorney, primary care doctor, or specialists they may rely on. Knowing how to get in touch with these people in an emergency can save headaches and heartaches.

Finally, explain to them that you want to plan in advance so you can help them as much as possible. This shows your parents that you have put some thought into your own financial estate planning as well as theirs.

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