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How to manage estate planning discussions during the holiday

When people get together for Christmas, it is a time for celebration, gift giving and reminiscing about times past. For most people, it is a time to look forward to because it does not happen very often and at their age, there may not be very many others in their futures.

For those people, talking about estate planning may not be a topic that they may want to broach. It may feel to them as they are on the verge of (if they are not there already) of losing their independence, and their respect from their family members along with it.

However, estate planning is important enough that a genuine conversation can be helpful in dispelling any myths and uncertainties that may be felt between an elderly parent and their caregivers. This post will introduce a few guidelines. 

Make it about values – The goal of an estate plan is to create a legacy for others to follow or benefit from. With that said, any discussion about estate planning should be about how a person’s values can be passed on.

Don’t take control away – Unless there are significant cognitive or physical issues, a person should not have control of their life taken away from them. If this is the case, however, there are ways that another person can legally make decisions for an infirm person.

Know when to stop – As we alluded to earlier, holiday gatherings should be about spending quality time with family members. If an elderly person (or any family member, for that matter) is uncomfortable, the conversation should not be forced upon them. 

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