Reviewing your parents estate plans with them is always a prudent thing to do. Keeping an up-to-date estate plan will ensure that your elderly parents’ wishes are carried out in the event of their incapacitation or death. It can also help to avoid potential conflicts and legal issues that may arise in the future. If you want to help your parents update their estate plans, here are some steps you can take:
Encourage them to review their current estate documents
This includes their will, power of attorney, and any other legal documents that outline their wishes. Encourage them to consider whether these documents accurately reflect their current wishes and circumstances.
Help them to identify their assets and liabilities
It’s important for your parents to have a clear understanding of what they own (assets) and owe (liabilities) in order to effectively plan for the distribution of their estate. In addition, assist them in gathering this information, including any bank accounts, real estate, investments, and other assets.
Reviewing their goals and priorities
Have a conversation with your parents about their goals and priorities for their estate. Do they want to leave certain assets to specific people or organizations? Or have any charitable giving goals? Do they have any concerns about the potential for family conflicts over their estate? The information shared will help guide the decisions they make about their estate plan.
Help them to choose an estate planning attorney
If your parents don’t already have an estate planning attorney, you can help them to research and select a qualified attorney who can assist them in creating or updating their estate plan.
Attend meetings with the attorney
Additionally, consider attending meetings with your parents and their attorney to provide support. It will also ensure that their wishes are accurately reflected in their estate plan.
All in all, when reviewing their estate plans, it’s important to respect your parents’ autonomy and allow them to make their own decisions about their estate plan. However, offering your support and assistance can help to ensure that their wishes are carried out and their estate is managed in a way that reflects their goals and priorities.