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How to talk to your parents about estate planning

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning remains an important yet frequently overlooked conversation within many families. It requires decisions about transferring an individual’s estate after their death, including distributing assets and caring for dependents.

Although the topic might feel sensitive and uncomfortable, initiating this discussion with your parents can ensure the honoring of their wishes, reduce potential conflicts among siblings and lessen the stress and confusion associated with managing an estate after a loved one’s passing. This conversation demands tact, respect and understanding, as it addresses not only the logistics of wills and assets but also emotional readiness and family dynamics.

Choose the right time and place

It is important to look for an appropriate moment to discuss estate planning. Aim for a calm, quiet time without interruptions or time pressures. This conversation deserves everyone’s full attention and should take place in a private, comfortable setting where your parents feel secure and relaxed.

Express your intentions clearly

When you start the conversation, make sure to clarify that your aim is to support them and ensure respect for their wishes. Emphasize that estate planning brings peace of mind to everyone involved, and assure them of your assistance, not intrusion or control.

Listen and offer support

Be ready to listen more than you speak. Your parents may share concerns or wishes they have never expressed before. Show empathy and understanding, and suggest your help in navigating the process. Whether this involves researching options, organizing documents or simply discussing their wishes, your involvement can make the process less daunting for them.

Address the benefits

Highlight the benefits of estate planning, such as preventing complications, ensuring the distribution of assets as per their wishes and protecting the family from potential conflicts. Realizing these positive outcomes can motivate your parents to take action and make the necessary arrangements.

With a careful approach, this conversation can strengthen your relationship and ensure peace of mind for everyone involved.


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