Cunningham, Chernicoff & Warshawsky, P.C.

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Our office will re-open on June 1, 2020. Until further notice, Stay Safe Guidelines will be followed, including safe social distancing (6 feet), cleaning after each client and the wearing of masks by employees and clients at all times while in our office. People who are ill and those without masks will not be permitted entry into our office.

How to get your parents to create an estate plan

It’s imperative that you start creating an estate plan as soon as you become a legal adult. However, it’s not uncommon for Pennsylvania residents and others to put off estate planning as long as possible. If your parents don’t have an estate plan, it may be in your best interest to talk to them about the benefits of having a will or trust. Let’s take a closer look at how you can broach the subject properly.

What do your parents want?

There is a chance that your parents haven’t even thought about what they want to happen after they pass. There is also a chance that they haven’t thought about what would happen if they get sick or become incapacitated. Therefore, it may be a good idea to have a broader discussion about how a will, trust or other documents can help them accomplish their goals now and in the future.

Empower your parents to make their own decisions

Ideally, you will allow your parents to decide whether a will or trust allows them to best meet their estate planning needs. It’s also important to let them decide who their beneficiaries will be and whether each beneficiary will receive an equal portion of their estate. Although it may hurt to find out that you won’t get as much as your siblings or cousins, it’s important to recognize that your parents are the only ones who get to decide what to do with their stuff.

You don’t need to decide everything at once

It’s generally a good idea to create an estate plan as early in life as possible to avoid potential legal challenges. However, you shouldn’t force your mother or father to draft or execute anything before they are ready to do so.

A will or trust may allow your parents to retain control over their assets now and after they pass. Explaining the benefits of these documents may motivate them to take action before they are physically or mentally unable to do so.