Estate planning can be a painful subject to discuss with one’s parents because it is about what happens after they are no longer alive. Many people do not have any sort of an estate plan and it is not even something that enters into their thinking. When your parents were young, they probably thought that they were very far from that, if they thought about it at all.
As an adult child, you want to make sure that your parents protect their assets (money, house, jewelry, etc.) so that you and others are able to inherit and to safeguard your legacy. Planning for the eventuality is emotionally difficult and can be stressful for everyone but if your parents have not made any sort of plan, it is important that you discuss it with them now. You should understand enough so that you can guide your parents. This is where the advice of a knowledgeable Pennsylvania estate planning lawyer may be valuable for you and your parents.
The consequences of not having an estate plan
If your parents do not have an estate plan and they pass away, you will need to ensure that their finances are in order, which may be complex and expensive. Sadly, you will have to deal with it while you are grieving for your parents, which is difficult enough. If you lay the foundation with your parents while they are still alive, you will probably avoid those issues. No matter what the financial standing, everyone should have an estate plan with clear direction and clear wishes.
Convincing your parents to establish an estate plan will achieve some important things, including being well prepared for what they want to happen. Some of the other important questions are:
- Which account pays for health care expenses?
- Who makes medical decisions?
- Who handles and who inherits their property?
- Where are the important documents stored?
No matter what your parents wish to leave to their loved ones as an inheritance, they should plan so that everything goes smoothly and quickly when they are no longer around.