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Talking to Your Parents About Their Estate Plan

Ryan E. Gatti Attorney at Law

Estate planning is something that every Louisiana resident should do. It helps to protect your assets, future and family. It’s important to know how to talk to your parents about their estate plan.

Why is an estate plan important?

An estate plan is important for everyone. If your parents are 65 or older, it’s an even more urgent matter. You will want to make sure that your parents make plans for the future in terms of their estate and keep assets and property secured to eventually leave to you and your siblings. It’s also important for their wishes to be met regarding their medical care and how their financial matters are handled in the event that they become incapacitated.

Estate planning can also help prepare for your parents’ funeral expenses in the future. If they plan for this in advance, it gives them and the family an edge in not having to worry about those expenses when the time comes.

What should your parents include in their estate plan?

When you discuss the importance of estate planning with your parents, explain things calmly and rationally. If your parents already have wills, they might need to tweak them depending on the circumstances. However, this isn’t enough as a living trust can help to safeguard anything mentioned in a will. Assets and property held in a trust can bypass the probate process and ensure that you and other beneficiaries receive your inheritances sooner.

Powers of attorney and health care directives are important legal documents to have as well. If your parents are incapacitated in the future and can no longer manage their financial or medical-related matters, a trusted person they name can take care of those issues for them. A health care directive can outline how they want their health-related affairs to be handled. This could include an end-of-life care directive in the event that one or both of your parents are in a situation where they might need to be resuscitated. They could have instructions for resuscitation or a do-not-resuscitate or DNR order.

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