Need help motivating your parent to meet with a Brandon will and trust lawyer? The legal planning process is usually initiated by an adult child who sees a need for help and is often met with hesitation by the parents. It is understandable why an older parent would be reluctant to meet with an estate planning attorney; thinking about death or incapacity – and all the things that come along with them – brings up a lot of uncomfortable feelings.
Unfortunately, while our parents will continue to find reasons to put off planning, their need for an effective and properly executed estate plan does not lessen. Here are a few common excuses your parents might throw your way when you bring up estate planning, and some responses you can have that might help you get your point across.
- “I already have an estate plan” is one of the most common (and quite frankly, legitimate) objections older parents have when they are asked to meet with an estate planning lawyer. Many people make estate plans when they are young, but they fail to update those plans as their kids grow older and move out of the house. Simply put: the snapshot of mom or dad’s life that was reflected in their older documents is not likely the life they lead now, nor does it likely reflect the assets they have accumulated through the years. These older plans usually also fail to take into account circumstances that arise later in life, such as the need to plan for nursing home or other long-term care.
- “Your mother/father will inherit everything anyway” is another phrase you may hear to avoid creating an estate plan. While your surviving parent will likely inherit the majority of the estate, this is not a very good reason for neglecting to create an estate plan. For instance, what if something happens to both parents? What about the taxes, court fees, and other legal issues the surviving parent and children will have to deal with? Also, thought needs to be given to what happens if one or both parents need long-term care. How will that care be paid for? How will the healthy spouse continue to pay bills if all finances are going toward nursing home costs? It’s important to remember that estate planning is not just about planning for death, but also making sure that there are plans in place to deal with the costs and curveballs that arise in later stages of life.
- “I don’t have enough assets” is yet another common objection to creating an estate plan. However, money only makes up a part of the estate plan. Your parents’ loved ones can gain the power to make difficult healthcare and financial decisions with the help of estate planning documents. Otherwise, if your parent needs help and did not leave behind an estate plan, the process of setting up a guardianship or administering an estate through the probate court is long and costly for your loved ones.
If you’d like more information about helping your senior parents set up an estate plan, or if you’d like to have their existing plan reviewed to make sure it still serves their interests, call our office at (813) 438-8503 to set up an initial consultation.