Whether you are a parent or an adult child, having a conversation about mortality can be uncomfortable. Yet, you must have that conversation with family members so that everyone is on the same wavelength for estate planning. Before starting the conversation, look at these tips to make the process easier in Texas.
Why you need to have this critical conversation
Having a transparent and sensitive conversation about estate planning with your family can provide several essential benefits. By having a frank discussion, you may discover that a family member you want to become a trustee or an executor may not be comfortable with the task. Your survivors also need to know your intentions for the estate. Lack of clear communication can also result in strife among family members after you pass away. For some families, having a professional manage your investments may be the way to go if you have a sizable estate.
Starting the conversation
Even though you know you must do it, initiating the dialogue can be difficult. Consider the following:
- Pick a positive, comfortable environment at a time when everyone is calm.
- Ensure that your intentions are clear and that everyone knows you are starting the dialogue over concerns for the future.
- Stress the importance and the benefits that everyone involved will gain.
Crafting a basic estate plan
Sometimes, individuals have no idea how to start crafting an estate plan or believe they still have a lot of time to do so. However, it’s never too early to get the basic estate elements in place. If you’re an adult child who wants to ensure your parents have the proper documents, ask if they have the following:
- Last will and testament
- Durable power of attorney for finance
- Health care power of attorney
- Directive to physicians
- Health Insurance Portability and Assurance Act (HIPAA) authorization
Your estate may also include other elements, such as living trusts, guardianship directives and survivorship agreements, as necessary. If you already have a plan, consider reviewing the documents periodically to ensure they meet your needs. Estate plans can be updated as many times as required to reflect your current wishes.