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What You Need to Know about Your Parents' Estate Plan

A thoughtful estate plan can make your heirs' lives easier. But it is your parents' estate planning that will make your life easier. Estate planning is not an easy topic to discuss, especially with those you love, but it needs to be done. Here are some ideas to help you approach it as sensitively as possible.

Why you need to know?

  • You may be the administrator/executor/trustee of your parent' estate. If so, you need to understand your role and responsibilities prior to your parent' incapacity or death.
  • You may need creditor or lawsuit protection for your future inheritance. If you do, then your parents' estate plan needs to be structured to take this into account.
  • Your retirement may be impacted by the needs (or lack of needs of) your parents.
    • You may need to start saving with the anticipation that you may need to supplement your parents if they do not have enough to cover a comfortable retirement. OR
    • You may be able to live comfortably knowing that your parents have already saved enough for an adequate retirement plan with money left over in case of an emergency.

Why you need to know?

  • Do your parents have an estate plan?
    • What does it consist of (i.e. Will or Will/Trust or Healthcare Powers, Power of Attorney, etc.)?
    • Does your parents' estate plan need to be updated?
    • Have you met with your parents' attorney to understand your role in the event that your parents become incapacitated or die?
    • Do you understand how incapacitation is determined?
  • Do you have a list of your parents' assets?
    • How have your parents taken title to each of their assets?
    • Does titling reflect how your parents would like their assets to be transferred upon death?
    • Do some assets need to be re-titled?
  • With respect to bank/brokerage accounts, should some of the accounts be consolidated?

How you go about obtaining this information?

  • I provide my clients various forms to assist them in obtaining the above information. For example, an "Estate Planning Check-Up," "A Checklist: What Your Family Should Know," and "Asset Worksheet."

To learn more, please Contact Me