A lack of planning is costly for everyone.
Discussing end-of-life issues is important.
In fact, in the "spirit of beginning with the end in mind*," end-of-life planning is the true beginning of any estate plan.
After all, nothing happens until something happens to you.
It is also a topic many people would prefer to avoid, according to The Napa Valley Register article titled “Estate planning for your parents.”
What should you do if your parents refuse to begin planning?
First, be compassionate.
There are several reasons why they are hesitant.
- Feeling as if they know nothing about estate planning
- The cost of an estate plan
- Facing the reality of death and potential incapacity
- Fear of being manipulated
Probate without an estate plan is costly.
It will drain both time and money.
Instead of your loved one controlling who gets what, the state will decide for them.
This can cause drama and heartache for everyone.
Practically, what can you do?
First, you can ask them whether they have an estate plan in place for incapacity and death.
If you want to be less direct, you can also drop hints by requesting their advice on your estate plan.
Better yet, get your estate plan completed and share the details with them.
Let them know how good it feels to enjoy "estate planning peace of mind" now that your own estate plan is inked.
Stories can be powerful motivators, too.
Tell your parents a story of either a successful or an unsuccessful estate planning experience with which you are familiar.
This can also help get the wheels turning.
Consider asking another relative or a friend to bring up the topic.
If money is truly an issue for your parents, you can offer to pay for them to work with an experienced estate planning attorney.
The price you may pay now will pay big dividends in the future, when your parents have a plan designed specifically for their unique circumstances.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Napa Valley Register (March 26, 2017) “Estate planning for your parents”