How to help your parents create an estate plan

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How To Help Your Parents Create An Estate Plan

Life is strange in so many ways, but perhaps the oddest part is when the role of parent and child seems to flip. As your parents age, you may notice that you begin doing more for them, just as they used to do for you in the past. This is a natural progression and how things seem to work out. Taking on the caregiver role means it is up to you to help your parents in any way you can, which includes helping them put together their New Jersey estate plan.

The older your parents get, the more likely they are to fall prey to scammers and others who are out to take advantage of them. Having some control over their estate or at least knowing they have protected their finances through a solid estate plan can give you some peace of mind, suggests Forbes. With that in mind, you can help your parents by taking some simple steps.

Have an open conversation

You should not try to steamroll your parents. Instead, have an open conversation with them about their finances and their estate plans, if any. Make sure they understand the importance of having certain documents in their estate that will provide them protection and allow you to step in if needed.

Make sure they have important documents

You should encourage your parents to at least write up a will. This is the bare minimum for any estate plan. You also should encourage them to create an advance medical directive to handle end-of-life care and a power of attorney.

Have them make a list of information

It is also helpful to have your parents create a list that includes contact information and other details about their life. This could include log-ins and passwords for online accounts, doctor names and phone numbers, the name and number of their lawyer and any other information that you would need to know if your parents were unable to communicate it to you.

Helping your parents get their estate plan in order will save a lot of hassle in the future. While it may not be something they want to do, it is something they should do for everyone’s sake.


Michael Ritigstein is a Founding Partner of the firm concentrating his efforts in supporting the firm's litigation, corporate and estate matters. Mr. Ritigstein graduated from the University of Delaware in 1996 and Seton Hall University School of Law in 2000. In 2007 he received a Masters of Law in Taxation with a concentration in Estate Planning, from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

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