Death is a topic that most of us would like to avoid. It is uncomfortable and a heavy topic to process. It gets even more complicated when it comes time for aging parents and their children to discuss the inevitable death of a parent(s).
Parents and children alike feel the struggle to bring up this topic. Parents may feel particularly stressed and anxious thinking about or planning for their demise. Children, even as adults, can hardly bring themselves to think about life without their parents in it.
Regardless of how difficult or unpleasant the conversation is, it must be had. This is not the elephant in the room that you can ignore. At least not if you want any say in how your assets are divided or who manages your estate after your death. For children, it can be beneficial to urge their parents to have this conversation. Early planning can result in long-term savings and potential protection from long-term care costs.
Here are a few suggestions to reduce some of the stress of having to have a difficult conversation:
- Pick a time when the mood is light and there is no other family crisis at play. Relaxed attitudes and casual conversation can make the topic easier to broach.
- Be clear about your intentions for bringing up the conversation. Remind everyone that having proper plans that everyone is clear on is the best way to avoid a crisis down the road.
- Stress the importance of having the conversation and taking the steps despite the uncomfortable nature. Tell stories or share articles about estates mishandled and discuss the fallout due to the lack of planning. Help everyone see the importance of having the discussion and solidifying a plan.
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