Parents who do not have an estate plan put everyone in the family in a difficult position of trying to manage a mess if that person becomes incapacitated or suddenly passes away.
For an adult only child, this situation can be even more complicated. Trying to figure out how to approach this process with parents who refuse to put together an estate plan is extremely difficult. Some of these elderly loved ones might have some form of dementia or have one spouse in long term care. Getting copies of all of the appropriate legal documents, including a power of attorney, can be difficult where not everyone is of sound mind and understands what these mean.
If your aging parents have never been forthcoming about their finances or their estate planning, it can be difficult to sort out all of the various details and to figure out what is most appropriate. Some people are unwilling to do estate planning at all because they do not see the advantages or are not comfortable with approaching the process.
It can be especially difficult to broach this subject with aging loved ones who may be set in their ways and have their own opinions about their reasons for not going through estate planning. It can come across the wrong way if you approach this subject without appropriate care because your parents might be under the impression that you are doing this for your best interests rather than their own. This can be a very complicated situation and one that brings up a great deal of emotions.
Having the insight of an experienced estate planning attorney to walk through the various challenges of your loved ones not having an estate plan can help you bring up this conversation more naturally and without as much frustration or problems.
Knowing an estate planning attorney’s insight but not bringing your parents to the office directly is a good and valuable conversation to have so that you understand whether it is even worth the effort to try to fight for estate planning.