Minnesota residents might not know how to bring up the topic of estate planning around their elderly parents. Despite how difficult this conversation can be, it’s crucial to have these conversations early and often.
An estate plan outlines what should happen to your parents’ belongings after they die. These estate plans can also address who should be responsible for what as far as probate court and making decisions during the end-of-life process.
What should you bring up to your parents?
Estate planning can take many shapes and come in many different forms. It’s important to ask your parents what sort of estate plan they have in place as well as how far along they are in the process. Different forms of estate planning can look like:
- Life insurance policies
- Advance directives
Wills are the most common type of estate plan that most parents should have in place. This essential document outlines your parents’ wishes for their estate, financial investments and property.
Life insurance policies might be connected to your parents’ employers or have been purchased independently, but unlike a will, not having this set up won’t delay the probate process.
What are advance directives?
You’ll also want to talk to your parents about advance directives. Advance directives are instructions that are laid out in the event that one of your parents can no longer care for themselves or make decisions for themselves.
The advance directive will say which children should be in charge of what when it comes to the care of their parents – such as DNRs, power of attorney, etc. Advance directives can be hard to talk about, but it’s important in order to maintain your parent’s wishes.
What happens without a will or estate plan?
Without a will or estate plan in place, your parents’ estate can get lost in the probate process and it can take even longer to figure out. That’s why it’s crucial to talk to your parents about where their estate plan is located, what’s in it, and where you can find all of their pertinent documents and information.