Talking to Your Elderly Relative About Estate Planning
There are some conversations that are, quite simply, never easy. Talking to an elderly parent or other relative about estate and incapacity planning is probably high on that list. This is partially because coming to grips with our own mortality is never easy. Moreover, a conversation centering on inheritance and property can seem callous and self-serving. However, the cost of not having the conversation is usually much worse.
While it is never an easy subject to broach, there are some ways to go about it that make the process easier and more likely to be effective:
- Coordinate with your siblings and other family members. Approaching your parent individually may create a feeling of secrecy that may make him or her uncomfortable. What's worse, it may create distrust with your other family members.
- Remember that estate planning is about what your parent wants, not what you and your siblings want.
- If you have gone through the estate planning process yourself, share your experiences with your parent. Consider referring him or her to the professionals who assisted with your plan.
- If you know of an example of a friend or acquaintance whose family went through hardship because of the lack of an estate plan or Medicaid planning, share that experience.
- Remember your parent's plan is not just about property and inheritance; is also about what he or she wants in the way of medical treatment and long-term care.
Estate and Medicaid planning is both legally and emotionally complex and can be a significant burden for families to bear alone. An experienced Florida elder law attorney can help families understand their options so that they can be comfortable and confident with the choices they make.