Elderly parents consulting their son on Estate Planning

How to Talk to Your Parents About Estate Planning

Did you know that less than 23% of people between the ages of 35-54 have estate planning documents completed? Even adults who are 55 and older are less than 50% likely to have an estate plan, as the number has fallen from 60% in 2019 to just 44% today.

These statistics are alarming, as it means that over half of the older adults who pass away have not formalized their wishes. Approaching the topic of estate planning with your parents might seem daunting, but it's a crucial conversation to ensure their wishes are respected. Here are some tips to guide you through this important discussion.

Don’t Put Pressure on Them But Express Your Concern


Timing is key. Wait for a moment when your parents are relaxed and not dealing with other stressful things. Avoid bringing up the topic during family gatherings or at moments where it might seem insensitive. Initiate the estate planning conversation by expressing your care and concern for their well-being.


Remember that estate planning is not just planning for death—it is also planning for life and what might happen if they are briefly unable to make decisions on their own. Avoid making them feel pressured or threatened. Instead, the goal is to have an open and honest dialogue.


Highlight the Benefits of Estate Planning


Emphasize the advantages of estate planning, such as providing clarity on their wishes, reducing the burden on family members, and minimizing potential conflicts. Make sure that they understand that planning ahead can offer peace of mind for everyone involved.


Share your own estate planning journey to emphasize that it isn’t just something that you do when you are preparing to pass away or ill. Sharing your own experience can make the conversation more relatable and less intimidating. Explain how planning ahead has brought you peace of mind and how you'd like to help them achieve the same.


Respect Their Wishes


Estate planning can be an intense conversation, and it is not worth jeopardizing your family relationships over. Ultimately, you should respect your parents' autonomy and decisions surrounding estate planning. Even if you disagree with their choices, it's essential to honor their wishes. There are many times where someone might initially not be receptive to estate planning and they end up asking you for a recommendation only a few weeks down the road!


Partner with Atkinson Law. We’ll Take Care of You Like Family


At Atkinson Law, we listen to all our clients and protect their interests so they can receive a positive legal outcome.  We’ll work with you and give you the best possible recommendation for your future. To learn more about estate planning, contact us today by calling (410) 882-9595 or visiting our website.