elderly woman signing some documents

Difficult Conversations, Part II: Your Parent’s Estate

Your parents are off enjoying retirement and seem to have a handle on their personal matters. But, do you know what their plan is if anything happens to either of them? Have you asked them about their wishes if incapacitated or worse? Many parents, especially in Minnesota, are reluctant to discuss financial/personal matters with their kids, even if said kids are in their 50s.

Discussing estate planning and assets with parents can be a sensitive and emotional topic. 

Here are some steps you can take to have a productive conversation:

Approach the topic with sensitivity: Start by acknowledging that this is a difficult conversation to have, but one that is important for their future and yours. Express your desire to ensure that their wishes are respected and that their estate is handled in the best way possible.

Choose a comfortable and private setting: Find a quiet and private place where you can talk without interruptions or distractions. Make sure everyone is comfortable and has enough time to discuss everything thoroughly.

Gather information: Before the meeting, make sure you have all the necessary information about your parents’ assets, including property, investments, bank accounts, and insurance policies. This will help you have a more informed discussion.

Listen to your parents’ wishes: Allow your parents to express their wishes and concerns about their estate. It’s important to understand their priorities and goals so you can help them achieve them.

Address any potential conflicts: If there are any potential conflicts or disagreements, it’s better to address them early on. Make sure everyone understands each other’s perspective and try to find a solution that works for everyone.

Seek professional advice: Call a qualified Minnesota estate planning attorney to help with the process. If your parents work with other professional advisors, you can ask to loop them into the conversations with the attorney.

Follow up: After the meeting, follow up with your parents and make sure everyone is on the same page. Make sure you have a plan in place for how to handle their assets and that everyone understands their role in executing their wishes.

Remember, this conversation can be emotional and challenging, but it’s important to have it to ensure that your parents’ wishes are respected and that their estate is handled appropriately.