On the one hand, learning directly from your parents what they hope to accomplish with their estate plan is a great way to gain clarity and understanding over their goals. It can also reduce the possibility of future friction and disputes, but unfortunately, the way that your parents have planned their estate may not line up with what you expected.
Especially for those adult children who have put in substantial resources or planning time to help their elderly parents, it can be hard to realize that you and all of their siblings will receive an equal amount. If everything is being split equally among all of your siblings, but you have more substantial financial needs, have contributed more towards your parents’ care physically or financially, or have other extenuating circumstances, it can trigger rivalries and make anyone feel less loved.
One of the most challenging aspects of this is that ultimately it is your parent’s decision what they do with their estate plan and sometimes this means rethinking the concept of fairness. Open with a natural question such as, “Can we talk more about your will or estate planning? I want to understand your thinking more clearly”, this gives your parents the opportunity to broach estate planning in the way that made the most sense to them. Having a natural conversation may not be easy, but it can be a great way to better understand why they’ve structured things the way they have. It is possible that they intend to provide you with more gifts over the course of their lifetime or may even be willing to adjust their estate plans, but at the end of the day, it is up to them how they divide their legacy. If you want to create your own estate plan with the help of an experienced professional, contact an estate planning lawyer in Pasadena, CA.