No one wants to think about what happens when a loved one dies. But for many Washington, DC residents, it’s a necessary thought process in order to establish an estate plan. Adult children should take the time to ask their parents about their estate plan, so there are no surprises when that time comes.
What does an estate plan address?
An estate plan answers questions about what happens to assets and finances when a loved one dies. An estate plan can also be a road map for how to care for a loved one when they’re no longer able to make decisions for themselves.
What questions should adult children be asking?
For adult children, it’s important to make sure they know how to access the estate plan if something should happen. A lawyer isn’t going to magically know when to appear with the proper documentation, so it’s important that the child know how to access the documentation.
Adult children can start the conversation by asking if their parents have a lawyer they use and writing down the contact information. From there, you can ask about whether they have a will or some other estate planning document.
If you feel comfortable continuing the conversation, you might want to ask what’s in the estate plan. This can help prepare you to make decisions that align with your parent’s wishes should the time come.
What if your parent doesn’t have an estate plan?
Estate plans are crucial for assets to be passed down properly. If your parent doesn’t have an estate plan, offer to help them create one or put them in touch with a professional.
Do research into what options your parent has for estate planning and prepare to explain the steps for them. As long as they’re able to make their own decisions, there’s nothing wrong with you helping them start their estate plan.