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How to ask parents about their estate plans

If you ever wanted to know what was in your parents’ wills, or how involved you will eventually be (if you are involved at all) in administering their estate, you are certainly not alone. With more adult children being tasked with looking after their elderly parents, there is more of a chance that you as an adult child will have to be an executor (as well as a beneficiary).

Indeed, asking about a parent’s estate plan has its taboos. After all, who wants to come off as being greedy and disingenuous? With that said, this post will offer some helpful tips for caretakers who are watching over elderly parents. 

Ask about the basics – Children and other caretakers should know where important documents are located and who should be notified in the event of an emergency or a death. This does not mean that you will be able to review all of these documents, but knowing where they are can help in reducing the drama and confusion that can come about at such a trying time.

Don’t worry about the finances – In the same vein of keeping to the basics, don’t worry about your parents’ financial circumstances or how much you will inherit once they pass away. Thinking about a potential windfall could cause a parent to resent you.

Get professional opinions – Being prepared is also helpful in preparing for administering a parent’s estate. With that, developing relationships with experienced estate administration attorneys and accountants can help in setting your own expectations regarding what you will be chosen to do. 

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