Bringing up your parents’ Will is never an easy discussion to initiate. Nobody wants to have the difficult conversation about what will happen when we die, whether it is your parents, grandparents, or yourself. However, having tough conversations about Wills and estate planning can be an essential element of communication that can help ensure that everyone knows what to expect beforehand. It is important to bring up these topics sooner rather than later so that you have the opportunity to understand your loved one’s final wishes before it is too late, especially if you are a beneficiary. You can never know what life may throw at you, but you can do your best to make sure that you and your loved ones are prepared for any situation by communicating ahead of time.
The challenge is, how do you go about bringing up the topic of Wills to your parents? What is the best way to bring up the conversation? Trust & Will, the leader in online estate planning services, wants to help make it easier for you to bring up the topic with your family so that you are all better prepared for the inevitable. That is why we have put together this article that will offer you tips on how to broach the topic of Wills with your loved ones.
Keep reading to learn the answers to the following questions regarding having the conversation about Wills and what to expect:
Why is it important to talk to your parents about their Will?
Talking about Wills with your parents before it is too late can have many benefits for you and your loved ones. Below are just a few examples.
1. Avoids Unnecessary Arguments
By bringing up the discussion of your parents’ Will now, you are able to help resolve any confusion amongst your family and help manage expectations. It is possible that family members may have expectations as to what they may receive that may not line up with the reality of the inheritance your parents plan to bequeath. By having these conversations with your parents now, you give everyone the chance to prepare themselves, as well as give you the chance to ask your parents questions about their decisions.
2. Protects Your Parents’ Wishes
If you discuss your parents’ will with them now, you will be able to help make sure that their wishes are met when they pass away, as there will be someone around who knows of the contents of their Will and their intentions. This is important as it is possible some family members may try to contest the Will, and you want to be able to protect your parents’ final wishes.
What are some things to remember when broaching the topic of Wills?
Having a conversation about Wills and estate planning is never easy, but keeping these tips in mind can help make the conversation go smoother.
Approach it with empathy
The most important thing to remember when bringing up the conversation of Wills to your parents is to remember to approach it with empathy and compassion. As hard as it may be for you to think about your parents passing away, it may be that much harder for them to consider their own mortality. Remind them how important they are to you and that it is because you care that you are bringing up this conversation.
Involve the whole family
When having the Will conversation, make sure to include all members of the family within the discussion as well. Otherwise, it is possible that family members may feel frustrated and hurt that you had the discussion without them. You also will run the risk of family members having different ideas of what to expect from the Will.
Have a plan
Having the Will conversation can be a difficult and complex conversation that family members will want to have time to prepare for. In light of this, it will be important to give family members a heads up that you want to have the conversation and work on finding a date and time that works best for everyone. That way, everyone involved will be able to come to the conversation prepared with what they want to talk about.
What should you NOT do when discussing wills?
When you have the Will discussion with your parents, there is one thing that you will want to make sure you do NOT do.
Do Not Argue with them about their decisions
It is likely that you may not agree with every decision that your parents make regarding how to divide up their estate and who receives what assets. It is okay to ask clarifying questions to your parents to help you better understand their decisions, and it can be appropriate in certain situations to bring up how specific decisions made you feel. However, it is not okay to argue against their decisions to try and get your way. Remember that these are your parents’ assets, and it is ultimately their choice to decide how they choose to distribute their assets amongst their loved ones. While you may not always agree with their choices, they are the ones in charge of their estate and they have the final say.
Although having the Will conversation with your family can be challenging, creating your Will does not have to be. At Trust & Will, we’re here to help keep things simple. You can create a fully customizable, state-specific estate plan from the comfort of your own home in just 20 minutes. Take our free quiz to see where you should get started, or compare our different estate planning options today!
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