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Helpful tips for discussing a parent's estate plan

The administration of a loved one’s estate can bring about many emotions. Depending on his or her health, how the estate should be divided may be a unique, yet awkward conversation piece. Indeed, different people (especially siblings) may have different ideas about how an estate should be divided when no will exists.

Indeed, Arkansas law controls in these situations, but it may be easier on family members to have things predetermined before an elderly loved on passes away. Ideally, adult children should frank and honest discussions about a parent’s estate plan, but many may be uncomfortable broaching this topic. While there may be many reasons behind such a fear, we hope that this post will provide some helpful tips and a measure of courage. 

Don’t wait for a crisis – Of course, you don’t wan to be seen as a greedy child who is trying to steal their parent’s wealth, even though the conversation about it is a legitimate one. Because of this, an estate planning discussion should not begin during (or directly after) a health crisis.

Be respectful – Parents still want to be respected as the providers they were long ago. After all, they dedicated their lives to making sure yours was better than theirs. As such, they want to be in control of their own destiny, especially when it comes to leaving things after they are gone. So maintain respect when discussing their estate plan.

Talk about the broader picture – It may be helpful to talk about how a parent wants to be remembered, or what is important to them in leaving a legacy. These are likely to be much more important to them than questions about how they will distribute their assets or who is going to be left out their will.

If you have additional questions about estate planning or creating trusts, an experienced lawyer can advise you.

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