Talking to Your Parents About Their Last Will and Testament - What to Know

Asking your parents about their will and testament might cause them to become a little bit defensive. Death can be a strange conversation to bring up. Your parents might say that it’s none of your business or that you shouldn’t talk about it with them. However, it’s important that you know what their plans are, especially if it involves your attention or if there are duties that you need to tend to. Here are some ways you can speak to them and still sound like you have their best interests at heart:

 

Estate planning

The first thing you might want to ask is whether your parents have begun any estate planning. If they haven’t, you should try urging them to do so and make it a priority. What happens to your parents’ assets after their death may feel strange to talk about, but family stress might ensue if there is no existing plan.

 

Who's involved

Your parents might want to involve an outside professional such as a financial advisor or an estate planning lawyer. This is not just about deciding which child gets what, but about which child does what. Choosing an executor for their last will and testament is extremely important; It should be taken seriously since they will need to find someone who is willing and able to grasp the process and coordinate it in good faith.

 

Illnesses

If one of your parents gets ill, this is where your parents’ IFA needs to be engaged. Find out their current health insurance provisions, what liquid cash assets they might have in their pension or savings plans to fund full-time care, or a nursing home. If a child must quit their full-time job in order to look after a parent, you should know how this affects the income of that child’s family as well as what support they can apply for when taking the role of a full-time carer. If one of your parents gets ill, this is where your parents’ IFA needs to be engaged. Find out their current health insurance provisions as well as what liquid cash assets they might have in their pension or savings plans to fund full-time carer.

 

Division

You should also find out what your parents’ priorities are when dividing the estate. There are potential tax savings if portions of their wealth are given away as gifts within certain bounds. Perhaps your parents wish to include some kind of charity element in there. This means that all of their assets may not go to their children. Contributions to charity do not only have to be in cash but can also be in the form of property.

 

One thing that many people struggle with when creating a last will and testament is figuring out how to divide their assets fairly between their children. Your parents are likely to have many different types of assets suitable for different children such as property, vehicles, jewelry, businesses, or shares and businesses, financial investments, pension benefits, or even cash.

 

Life policy

It is crucial that your parents think about who will inherit the lump sum. It’s good to have a plan for any upcoming years that might lead to a clear understanding between children after they’ve passed.

 

Updates

If your parents have already written a will and put one in place, it is still important for them to revisit and see if any important updates need to be made. Reminding them might be the best thing you do, especially if they meant to give you something but haven’t updated their will since you were a toddler.

Reference:

1. “Executor.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Mar. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executor.

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