McClellan Legal LLC Estate Planning & Tax Assessment Blog

Friday, November 22, 2019

Do Your Parents Have an Estate Plan?

Discussing estate planning can be difficult, or even avoided, due to the heaviness of the topic. Those who do speak with their parents regarding estate planning may get a simple answer in return, such as: "Don't worry, we took care of that years ago!"  or "It's all settled, there's no need to worry."  

However, it is important to understand children’s concern regarding their parents’ estate planning because a parent’s lack of planning will negatively impact their children. Typically, children are called upon to help their parents during their incapacity and to administer their estate.  Without proper estate planning, children will be burdened with unnecessary delays, costs, taxes, and stress. Reviewing your parents’ estate planning with them will help you understand your roles as a fiduciary and help them consider whether their planning needs to be updated.

Here are couple points to consider when talking to your parents about estate planning:

  • Acknowledge that you are not trying to tell them what to do; instead, you are only trying to remind them that planning may reduce the burden on the family and increase the chances that their wishes are honored.
  • Think about approaching the subject by discussing your own estate plan or a topic in a recent estate planning article.
  • Ask your parents where they store their estate planning documents so you may get access to the documents when it is time to implement the plan. Often children are unable to find the Will, Durable Power of Attorney, etc., which greatly impedes the process.
  • You should also ask about the last time your parents had their estate plan documents reviewed. Old plans are often worse than no plan at all because they may not be updated with new laws or incorporate your parents’ current wishes.

A simple discussion about estate planning may save you and your family an enormous amount of time and money down the road.  Additionally, for those of you with adult children, it may not be a bad idea to bring up estate planning with your children.  Again, it will be your children that will likely be responsible for administering your plan, so advising them of their fiduciary roles will be extraordinarily helpful.  Your discussion will also allow you to educate your adult children on the importance of estate planning.

If you are interested in learning more about estate planning, please do not hesitate to call our office at 610-444-5552. We will be more than happy to discuss your estate planning with you.

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McClellan Legal LLC is located in Kennett Square and serves clients throughout the areas of Avondale, Chadds Ford, Coatesville, Downingtown, Landenberg, Oxford, Phoenixville, Pottstown, West Chester, & West Grove.

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