The holidays are a special time of year and in 2021 this is doubly true. A year ago, the Covid-19 pandemic was wreaking havoc on families with full force. Travel restrictions and health risks meant many were not able to gather for holidays and we were forced to move celebrations online. While the world is not yet out of the woods—especially with the Omicron variant nurturing renewed worry—the 2021 holiday season promises to be much more of the family celebration we all know and miss.
If you are gathering with loved ones for the first time since 2019 this year, it may be more important than ever to check in on their well-being. As parents begin to age, changes in their mental and physical well-being often catch adult children off guard. If you haven’t seen your folks in a while, it is important to take advantage of this year’s holiday gathering to tune into any possible deterioration. You may notice, for instance, that mom has lost interest in activities or elements that she used to always enjoy. Or you may see dad repeating details of a conversation that you had already shared earlier that same day.
Ideally, you would have begun talking to parents about their medical and financial needs and their estate planning goals long before any such signs of aging began to appear. If you, like so many others, have overlooked doing so, now is the time to start. Failure to address these subjects often leaves families divided and in crisis at a time when unity and clarity are most needed.
Three Tips for Talking About Estate Planning Over the Holidays
1. Be Inclusive
Let your siblings and extended family in on your concerns and your desire to talk to parents about their estate. Maintaining transparency and keeping everyone informed both prevents misunderstanding and avoid any appearance that you may be acting in your self-interest. Moreover, it helps ensure the success of your endeavor as parents are more likely to feel at ease if they are sure no one is feeling excluded.
2. Be Thoughtful and Direct
Let your parents know that you understand the delicacy of the subject and reassure them that you are acting in the interest of everyone’s long-term well-being. Estate planning is a vulnerable subject and so you should not be surprised if you are met with some reticence. Explain that you want your parents to be independent for as long as possible and wish to design a plan that assists them in meeting this goal. Describe your own estate plan and tell them how it has provided you peace of mind.
3. Seek Counsel from an Experienced Attorney
Before you begin talking to your parents or immediately after having your first conversation, seek out advice from an experienced estate planning attorney. A skilled professional will not only be able to talk you through essential documents but will call to your attention easily overlooked details and provide advice on how best to keep the process moving productively.
To learn more about having the estate planning conversation and ensuring your parents are well taken care of this holiday season, do not hesitate to reach out to the Estate Planning Law Group of Georgia either by calling 770-822-2723 or contacting us through our website.
Contact the Estate Planning Law Group of Georgia