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Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

Sacramento Elder Lawyer Urges You to Talk to Parents about Their Estate

March 24, 2011

As a Sacramento elder lawyer, I know how common it is for each generation to avoid planning for their deaths and long-term care needs.

It’s something no one likes to think about, especially when it comes to elderly parents who know they are running short of time on this earth.

Yet the big problem is that by avoiding this tough conversation with aging parents, the entire family is setting themselves up for a financial or legal mess if, and when, something happens to mom or dad.

Now I realize having this conversation can be tricky.

Neither you nor your parents may feel comfortable talking about, or even planning for death or long-term care. Not only that, but you don’t want to look greedy or uncaring. That’s why you should approach the topic in a way that lets them know you have their best interests at heart.

Here are two important things to keep in mind:

1. Estate planning and end-of-life planning protects your parent’s legacy: It’s not the only way they’ll be remembered, but it does give mom or dad the opportunity to have a say in what becomes of the assets they worked so hard to acquire.

2. Estate planning protects the beneficiaries: Just because you’ve grown and gone out into the world doesn’t mean that your parents don’t still feel the need to “parent” you. Taking the proper steps to plan their estate means that they can lessen the burden on their children and grandchildren during an otherwise emotional and stressful time for the family. So let your parents know that you want to follow through on their wishes, and by planning in advance, you can make sure that happens.

And finally, once the subject has been brought out into the open, it’s best to take steps to speak with a Sacramento elder attorney to get everything official and in writing.

Of course if you are now at this stage of planning and need help getting started, please feel free to give our office a call at (916) 241-9661.

With the mention if this article, you can come in for a Peace of Mind Planning Session that will allow us to sit down with the family and narrow down the best ways to make sure mom or dad’s assets stay protected if death or incapacity occurs.

These sessions are normally $750, but again, you can come in absolutely free with the mention of this post. Just call (916) 241-9661 to schedule your appointment today.

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Heather was wonderful. She explained, in understandable terms, why it is important to establish an estate plan. I never realized what would happen, without a plan in place, and we could not bear the thought of our child in arms of absolute strangers while the court system sorted out his future.

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