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Talking to your parents about estate planning

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2024 | Estate Planning

Talking about estate planning can be uncomfortable. After all, you are discussing death, whether it is your own death or the death of someone you love.

This conversation can be especially difficult if it involves talking with your aging parents, whether they have an estate plan set up or not.

If they do not have one, it is important to stress the value of having estate planning documents, such as a will, advance directive or power of attorney, drafted. Even if your parents already have an estate plan, regular discussions about the plan are helpful for many reasons.

Changing life circumstances

One reason is that our life situations often change and while we deal with the effect of the changes, we might forget to update our estate plans. Losing a spouse is a common example.

If one of your parents passes away, the other parent will need to update their estate plan to remove the deceased spouse’s name as an heir or beneficiary. Remember that an estate plan includes more than a will. It also includes insurance policies or retirement plans that involve designating beneficiaries.

Keeping alert for scammers

Another reason to have regular discussions with your parents about estate planning is that elderly individuals are becoming more susceptible to fraud and scams. In fact, it is estimated that elderly Americans lose approximately $3 billion each year to fraud or scams.

There are many different types of scams out there today and although anyone can be a victim, many scams are targeted toward elderly individuals.

It can be devastating to review your finances and estate plan with your parents and learn that they have lost all their money and assets due to falling victim to a financial scam.

Talking with them about their estate plan can help you catch red flags, such as missing payments, purchasing gift cards or doing anything out of routine with their money.