estate planning with parents in virginia beach

Seeing your parents age and slow down likely makes you think about how they will manage their health care and financial affairs late in life. Another question is what provisions they have made for distributing their property upon their death. These are never pleasant topics to discuss, but having a conversation while your parents can think and communicate clearly can be vital to the protection of their assets and to making essential decisions about their health and well-being. It can also prevent confusion and conflicts later on.

Here are some tips for engaging in a positive and constructive estate planning discussion with your parents:

  • Convey your concerns — Emphasize to your parents that you are motivated by wanting to make sure they are taken care of in their later years. The distribution of wealth upon their death should be secondary in the discussion.
  • Mention your own estate planning — This can be a good way to get the conversation going. Point out what advice you have received and what steps you are taking, such as creating wills, trusts and advance directives. Sharing that advice allows you to segue into asking your parents about their plans.
  • Ask questions and listen — Learn what you can about your parents’ existing plans for managing their wealth, including whatever provisions they have made for health care in their old age. See if they have consulted with an accountant, attorney or other professional planner.
  • Share your research — Find out information that could help your parents get started with their planning and tell them what you’ve learned. Avoid sounding like you’re recommending specific actions but encourage your parents to make their own inquiries.
  • Engage siblings and other family members — To avoid being seen as trying to unduly influence your parents’ planning, see if you can involve your siblings and others in the conversation. This can also help avoid family disputes later on.
  • Set roles and responsibilities — You and other family members can offer to serve in various capacities for your parents, including as executor, trustee, healthcare proxy or agent under a power of attorney. However, emphasize that the decisions are your parents’ to make.

You should suggest to your parents that they consult with a wealth management or planning professional who can take stock of their financial situation and advise them of the most advantageous course of action. An estate planning attorney can also prepare documents essential to their plans.

The Law Firm of Joseph M. Udall, PLC in Mesa assists Arizona residents in all aspects of estate planning. Call (480) 500-1866 or contact us online. We provide telephone consultations, and Saturday and evening appointments are available.