As children in Pennsylvania become adults, they watch as their parents become senior citizens. During this time, it’s helpful for adult children to talk to their aging parents about estate planning. However, preparing to have these discussions can feel overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you talk to your mom about estate planning. Although the ultimate decisions will of course be hers, you can help her take the next steps. You should ask her to schedule an appointment with an experienced estate planning attorney. The attorney will discuss many topics, including the following:
Get a picture of your mom’s finances
An essential step in the estate planning process involves finding out how many and what type of assets someone has. Depending on the size of the anticipated estate and your mom’s goals, a trust or other estate planning vehicle besides a simple will might make sense.
Consider becoming your mom’s power of attorney
Another thing to consider is whether or not you should be your mom’s power of attorney. When someone steps into this role, you have the ability to handle your mom’s financial affairs, which means making decisions about her money on her behalf. You can offer your services, but that doesn’t mean that mom is required to pick you as her agent.
Encourage your mom to create a will
You can also help plan your mom’s estate by encouraging her to create a will. A will is a document that details how someone wants to distribute their estate after passing away. If she wants, your mom could name you as her will’s executor. Being an executor places you in charge of settling your mom’s estate.
As you can see, it’s always possible to talk to your mom about estate planning. While starting this conversation might initially seem uncomfortable, discussing your mom’s estate plan can provide peace of mind for your entire family. An estate planning attorney will take it from there.