While the vast majority of us should have an updated estate plan, many seniors simply refuse to create one or ignore the thought of creating one. Reasons for these actions could come from a fear of death and worries about the expenses and anxiety involved. If your parents are reluctant to visit an estate planning attorney, you should try to gently intervene. The expenses associated with dealing with an estate after a loved one’s death are usually higher when there is no estate plan in place.
1. Contact Another Professional that Helps Your Parent
Parents often call upon certain professionals for assistance with their business and financial affairs, like a CPA or financial advisor. You can try contacting this person and ask if he/she knows an estate planning attorney that would be a good fit for your parent. If so, ask the professional to refer the attorney and discuss the importance of having an estate plan.
If your parent agrees to meet the lawyer, offer to go with to make your parent feel more comfortable. The key is to actually get your parent to meet with an attorney. Once the meeting takes place, a skilled estate planning attorney will know how to:
- put your parent at ease,
- effectively highlight the importance of an estate plan, and
- discuss the process so that your parent is in full understanding as to what will take place.
2. Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer on Your Own
If a professional cannot provide a referral, search for an attorney on your own. Ask friends or colleagues for a recommendation. If none, then conduct a search online for an attorney in your area. Once you find someone you like, contact the lawyer and explain the situation.
Most estate planning lawyers know this scenario all too well. A result is that they’ll know the best way to proceed given your particular parent. Again, if a meeting takes place, offer to go with your parent.
3. Tread gently
It’s usually never a good idea to try and force a parent to visit a legal professional. Aggressive approaches are often met with reluctance and down right refusal. Approach the topic gently. Be consistent and kind and inform that an estate plan involves more than just the distribution of assets. It also consists of appointing people to make medical decisions while the parent is still alive.
You might also want to explain to your parent on what will happen if no estate plan is in place. Or explain the specific goals that an estate plan can accomplish, like helping a grandchild attend college. This might provide ample motivation to see an attorney.
Contact The McWilliams Law Group for Help
The established California and Washington estate planning attorneys at the McWilliams Law Group help you prepare for the future today.
Our firm provides legal assistance with the following:
- Will drafting, execution and review
- Living Trusts
- Advance healthcare directives (living Wills)
- Powers of attorney
- Estate and gift tax issues
- Guardianships and conservatorships
- Choosing the appropriate executor and/or trustee
The skilled attorneys at our firm can help thoroughly analyze your estate and strategize the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship, and supporting philanthropic causes. Contact us now and let us help protect your personal security, family, and legacy.