A recent post in the AARP blog talks about a potentially uncomfortable conversation you might have to have with your aging parents. When you’re growing up, “the talk” typically refers to the discussion you have with your parents about sex. A notoriously uncomfortable situation for everyone involved, but that’s not the discussion we are talking about.
“The talk” you might need to have with your parents is one about estate planning, and how they need to be prepared for their inevitable death. Yes, it can be uncomfortable. Yes, it’s not something anyone looks forward to discussing.
And yes, you need to do it as soon as possible.
The fact is, if your parents do not have an estate plan it can lead to serious problems both for them and for you. Whether your parents need to prepare for the possibility of entering a nursing home by creating a Medicaid plan, or simply want to think about the kinds of inheritances they want to leave you, your siblings, and other family members, an estate plan is a necessity.
It’s also an excellent way to begin considering many of the issues your parents may have put off for a long time. Even if your parents have yet to retire and have a comfortable retirement plan already in place, that doesn’t mean they have thought about other issues, such as long-term care or potential incapacity.
There is no easy way to have this conversation, but procrastination is no answer. Do the adult thing and set aside a time when you and your parents can have “the talk.”