Research from the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP shows that more than 50 million Americans serve as unpaid caregivers. This number has increased by nearly 25% since 2015. Statistically, baby boomers and women take on the most considerable caregiving burden when caring for aging family members. As life expectancy increases and baby boomers advance well into their own senior years, the need for caregiving will only continue to rise. This post provides you with some ways to talk to your parents about estate planning.
Forbes’ recent article entitled “Holiday Season Tips For Caregivers” says that as the number of seniors in America continues to grow, we find ourselves on the verge of the most significant transfer of wealth in history. An estimated 45 million Americans will transfer some $68 trillion over the next 25 years.
As a result, having estate planning conversations has become more critical than ever.
Discussions about money and mortality can be challenging and emotional. Here are some tips on broaching this sensitive subject with family and loved ones.
Schedule a time: This can be an overwhelming topic, but don’t ignore it. Scheduling dedicated time to open the dialogue and creating a timeline to complete the primary estate planning documents can make the process more manageable and keep everyone involved accountable.
Share your wealth of knowledge: Share your understanding of what the documents mean, how and when they come into play, and what happens if there’s no estate plan. Remind them that this is their chance to ensure the fulfillment of their wishes. Moreover, avoiding probate provides you time to grieve without the hassle of a court case during such a devastating time.
Ask questions: Provided the person is in a good state of mind, they’re in a position to be involved in the decision-making. Ask open-ended questions like what steps they have already taken and document as much as possible without judgment.
Share your plan: Sharing your ideas and discussing your plans can ease tension and help eliminate fears. It shows others that they’re not alone in the planning process.
Leave the conversation open-ended: The key to these planning conversations is empathy because many seniors are experiencing a variety of emotions. Reassure them that you’re available for future discussions and will plan to check back in at times set forth in the timeline you created together.
You should also ask an experienced estate planning attorney for assistance. Book a Call!
Reference: Forbes (Nov. 29, 2022) “Holiday Season Tips For Caregivers”
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