For a variety of reasons, your parents may need your help with their estate plan. You can help them access specialists or encourage them to draft an estate plan in the first place. But you should be extra careful when offering help to avoid claims of undue influence in the future.
Before talking to your parents about their estate plan, you should establish your intentions. They should know that you and your siblings are not trying to influence their decisions but to help them protect their legacy and make their work more manageable.
Include your siblings
If you have siblings, they should be present when you’re discussing estate planning with your parents. With everyone present during conversations, you can lower the chances of fighting over what mom/dad “would have wanted.”
Understand what your parents have done
Your parents may have already started making an estate plan. Therefore, when talking to them, ask what they have done – don’t assume that they have not thought of it. And if your parents haven’t started, let them know they don’t need to worry, as you will help them from scratch.
Choose the right time
Timing is everything when talking to parents about estate planning. Since no one knows what will happen tomorrow, the right time to have this conversation is now. Note that most will contests stem from last-minute changes. Thus, it may be unwise to postpone this conversation.
Undue influence can result in your parents’ wishes not being fulfilled. By seeking legal guidance and/or helping your parents to do so, you should avoid it and spot it if it happens.