Johnson & Johnson, Attorneys At Law

Why talking to parents about estate planning early is critical

Some of the biggest news stories about estate planning are about celebrities with a significant amount of assets that did not sit down with an attorney to discuss who inherits their property. It can become a financial and legal nightmare when the heirs are left to deal with the decedent’s mistakes.

However, it does also serve as a reminder that estate planning must begin at a younger age. You may not have a lot to give right now, but most are not able to predict when they will die. Before you begin planning out potential asset division, you may want to talk to your parents if they are still alive and can think clearly. It could potentially give you some ideas on the direction you want your plan to take while preparing you for your parents’ future in the process.

Medical treatment

Talking about aging and diseases that could happen to either of you is never a pleasant topic, but it is a necessary one. Try to get an understanding of what insurance plan they have, how many different hospital visits they make and the various medications they receive. It will give you a sense of what to expect when you are older while also informing you how it will affect their current plan.

Those with parents that have a genetic disease will want to schedule meetings with their parents soon. If your family has a history of common disorders such as cystic fibrosis or diseases such as colorectal cancer, then you must include parts in your plan that focus on how to take care of you when these conditions reach later states. This is especially important to sort out if the condition could leave you physically or mentally incapacitated such as Alzheimer’s. Studies show that people who have mothers with Alzheimer’s have a high chance of developing it themselves.

Financial strategies

Recent statistics by the stock exchange NASDAQ show that around 70 percent of wealthy families will lose most of their money by the second generation. The article states that most of the primary reasons for this are parents not properly teaching their children how to handle their money or the wealth eroding through a poor estate plan or lack thereof. All of those lifetime savings vanish through costly taxes, fees and court cases if there is a rift in the family.

Talking with your parents is not just necessary for you to develop your own financial planning, but to also ensure that your mother and father’s assets will end up in the right hands. Approach this topic carefully with them, as they could potentially misinterpret it as you trying to get more out of your potential inheritance. Set up a meeting and inform them ahead of time what the topic is about and focus on how your discussions will benefit them more than what you can get out of it. They want their assets to be put to good use after their deaths, so prove to them that you can do that.

While discussing estate planning with your parents is an important step for preparing your future, you should get more than one opinion on how to divide your assets. An estate planning attorney can help you utilize your newfound knowledge so you can spend less time worrying about the matter and instead focus on other important aspects of your life such as your job and your family.

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Johnson & Johnson, Attorneys At Law

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Florham Park, NJ 07932

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