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Have your parents written a will? Recent studies show two out of three Americans don’t have an estate plan, so there’s likely a chance your loved ones haven’t created a will or trust yet. Creating an estate plan allows your parents to legally document their wishes for the future. This ensures their wishes will be followed in case of incapacity or death. Their wishes should be the focus of this process.

When and how to approach the situation? 

Now is the time to begin the conversation. The future can be unpredictable, so creating estate planning documents today can give everyone peace of mind. Estate planning can feel overwhelming, which is why many people put it off. But the possibility of becoming incapacitated or passing away without a plan in place can create a far more difficult, aggravating, and time-consuming situation. 

Talking to your parents about creating an estate plan can be a sensitive topic, but it’s an important conversation to have.

Remember, approaching this topic requires sensitivity and understanding. Be prepared for various emotional responses from your parents and be patient as they process the information. During this process, your role should be to support them as they make tough decisions about assets, family, loved ones, and their legacy. 

Here are some steps to guide you in approaching the discussion:

  1. Choose the right time and place: Find a comfortable and relaxed setting where your parents feel at ease. Make sure there are no distractions or time constraints, as this is a conversation that may require ample time.
  2. Show respect and empathy: Approach the conversation with sensitivity and respect for your parents’ feelings. Understand that discussing their estate plan can bring up thoughts about their mortality, which may be difficult for them.
  3. Explain the importance: Share your concerns and reasons why you believe it’s crucial to have an estate plan. Emphasize that it’s about ensuring their wishes are respected, protecting their assets, and easing the burden on the family during difficult times.
  4. Research and offer information: Educate yourself about estate planning, including wills, trusts, power of attorney, and healthcare directives. Present this information to your parents to show that you have done your homework and are genuinely interested in their well-being.
  5. Seek professional advice: Suggest involving an estate planning attorney or financial advisor who specializes in this area. Assure your parents that a professional can provide expert guidance and help them navigate the complex legal and financial aspects of estate planning.
  6. Address concerns and questions: Encourage your parents to ask questions and address any concerns they may have. Be patient and provide reassurance that the estate plan is designed to protect their interests and the family’s well-being.
  7. Involve siblings or other family members: If appropriate, consider involving other family members in the discussion. This can help show that the conversation is a collective concern and not solely driven by your interests.
  8. Respect their decisions: It’s your parents’ choice whether to create an estate plan or not. Respect their autonomy and decisions, even if they choose to delay the process. Reassure them that you are available to support and help them when they are ready.

If you don’t feel confident leading this nuanced conversation, you can rely on the experienced estate planning attorneys at the Sandoval Legacy Group to provide empathy and empowerment to your parents when it comes to estate planning. 

The process of estate planning is extremely personal and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

During our initial conversation, our team of legal professionals will explain the importance of various estate planning tools (such as wills, living trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare documents) and help your parents navigate difficult decisions, consider unique concerns, and create a plan that is tailored to their needs. 

Contact Us for Personalized Estate Planning in Southern California

We know discussing end-of-life plans can be difficult, but we approach this delicate conversation with respect and dignity. Our estate planning services cover all areas of elder law and probate based on your specific financial & health situation. If you have questions or concerns regarding your estate plan, probate, special needs planning, or elder law, attorney Dennis M. Sandoval and the Sandoval Legacy Group team are ready to assist you.

Southern California’s Premier Estate Planning Law Firm

With thirty-plus years of experience as an estate planning law firm in Southern California, you will have the most experienced legal minds to guide you. The trusted estate planning lawyers at the Sandoval Legacy Group, a division of Holstrom Block & Parke, A Professional Law Corporation, have offices located throughout Southern California in Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties.  If you have questions or concerns regarding your estate plan, special needs planning, elder law, conservatorships, advanced tax planning, or probate, contact us or give us a call at (888) 502-2881 to schedule a complimentary consultation.