The holiday season is the time of year when many families in Lake Charles do their best to get everyone together, even if it means traveling from out of state. From buying gifts to deciding on holiday meals, a lot of planning can go into these gatherings. But families might be missing out on a valuable opportunity to talk about a difficult topic. Although it might feel counterintuitive to talk about end of life affairs in between celebrations, this could actually be a great time to bring up wills, powers of attorney and other estate planning affairs.
Many adults do not find out anything about their parents’ estate plans until after they have already passed away. This can be difficult for everyone involved and may even lead to probate litigation. A common reason for this type of litigation is when one sibling feels slighted by his or her inheritance compared to those of siblings.
Discussing the details of a parent’s estate plan while he or she is still alive is a much better approach. Although it might not feel easy, being prepared ahead of time with questions can help. For example, someone may need to start off by asking a parent whether he or she even has an estate plan. Someone who knows that his or her parent already has at least a will might want to ask more detail oriented questions concerning things like finances, medical wishes and asset distribution.
Losing a parent is never easy, but it can be much harder for those who are met with unfamiliar estate plans. It is even worse to discover that a parent did not do any estate planning at all. Rather than leave things up to chance and hope for the best, families in Lake Charles should think about the best ways to facilitate these conversations, including speaking with an experienced attorney for further guidance.