Few people are eager to have a conversation about estate planning, but it is important to talk to your Louisiana parents about the topic. There are a number of things that you need to know, including whether they are going to need financial help from you as they get older.
Conversations among family members about estate planning can reduce the likelihood of conflict, misunderstandings or even court battles. Whether or not you will be the executor of your parents’ estate, knowing their wishes can help ensure that you are able to see them carried out. A discussion about estate planning should not be delayed because illness, injury or even events in the wider world, such as another pandemic, could happen suddenly and make preparation more important than ever.
Your family situation
Family dynamics will play a role in how and where this conversation takes place. It may be that it is best to exclude a family member or to include a professional, such as a financial planner, in the discussion. Be sure that your parents understand that your concern is not how much you will personally receive but that they have their affairs in order and that their wishes are clear. This includes knowing where their last will and testament and all other important paperwork is.
In case of incapacity
Discussing their wishes should also include a conversation about an advance health care directive so that you know their wishes for medical care if they cannot communicate them. You can also set up powers of attorney so that you or someone can manage their financial affairs in this situation.
While initiating the conversation and covering the basics is important, you may also want to think of the estate planning conversation as one that is ongoing. Over time, your family and your parents’ needs and wishes may change.