Have you been trying to convince a family member to do their estate planning? If so, you know exactly how frustrating and uncomfortable it can be to discuss this issue with someone who keeps procrastinating.
Nobody wants to discuss anything having to do with their deaths. Unfortunately, passing away without an estate plan can cause much stress on the family. This article will give you some practical steps you can take to broach the subject in a way that makes them feel more comfortable.
It’s Not About Their Stuff
When you bring up the subject of estate planning, it could be helpful to refrain from discussing their last will and testament. One of the reasons people procrastinate on estate planning is because they don’t believe it has an immediate application to their situation. Nobody thinks they are going to die soon (and hopefully they’re right).
Instead of bringing up the last will and testament, talk about other estate planning documents. These can include power of attorney and a living will. These are both documents that deal with being incapacitated.
You could bring up a news story that you heard about where someone was unable to make financial or health care decisions, but didn’t have a power of attorney or living will.
If your loved one doesn’t have any of these documents in place, it may be easier to get them to consult with an attorney. While the attorney is taking care of these documents for them, they can actually persuade them to take care of their final wishes.
Ask Them What They Think
Don’t just tell them why they need to take care of their estate planning. It might be more helpful to listen to what they have to say about it.
Invite them to share their feelings about it. If they have concerns, you will be able to better address them if you know about them.
If you can get them to open up to you about it, then they may become more comfortable with the subject. It could also make it easier to get them to speak with an attorney who can address any issues.
Bring It Up Often
You don’t have to have one long, drawn-out conversation on estate planning. It might be a good idea to bring it up casually at different times. Here’s an example. At lunch one day, you casually mention how easy it was to get your own affairs in order. Or maybe you could talk about someone else you know who died without an estate plan and the impact it had on the family.
There are several ways you can bring up the topic without applying pressure. The more you do this, the more comfortable they may become with actually having a conversation about it.
Estate planning is not the easiest subject to discuss. If you are having trouble talking about this with your loved one, try using the tips in this article.