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Are You Aware of Your Parents’ Current Estate Plan and How it will Affect Your Family?

Jan. 26, 2022

Have you had a conversation with your parents about their estate plan yet? It may not be on the forefront of your mind, however it is a very important conversation to have. Inevitably, your parents will pass away, and you will be impacted by their estate plan. Whether you are filled in on their plan or you are completely unaware of their plan, this article will provide you with next steps to take regarding your parents’ current estate plan.

Which Scenarios Do You Relate To?

Scenario #1: The most ideal situation would be that your parents have already walked you through their updated estate plan. You know who the beneficiaries are, and you have access to an inventory of all their current assets. In addition to your benefit, you know your parents’ lawyer and his/her contact information, so you know to contact him/her once the time comes.

Scenario #2: In the chance that the Scenario #1 is not your current situation, we can point you in the right direction. Maybe your parents do not have an estate plan at all or maybe your parents do have an estate plan, but it has not been touched for 20+ years. You do not have access to their current assets’ inventory, you are not sure who the beneficiaries are, and you are currently unaware of who their lawyer was those years ago let alone how to contact him/her. You might not even know what or where all their assets are.

Scenario #3: In the worst-case scenario, your parents worked with someone who heavily influenced them in specific ways of writing their estate plan. This person could have successfully encouraged them to include something in their estate plan that they may have felt pressured into or now would not have written in their plan knowing their options. This could be very detrimental if not updated. This is also why it is greatly important to know who your parents worked with when they wrote their estate plan.

Next Step

Scenario 1: If this is the scenario you relate to the most, take a breath and know you are all set. If you have not already, gather your parents’ estate planning lawyer’s contact information for even better preparation.

Scenarios 2 & 3: Both scenarios could leave you with a heap of stress, emotions, court cases, and chaos even though your parents did not intend for that. The next step for these situations would be to talk to your parents about filling you in on the entirety of their undated estate plan. If they do not have one or are not happy with their current one, you could start by showing them this article. Encourage them to update or create their plan now. Doing so will ensure that your parents’ assets will be distributed properly to their desires and will keep you (and your siblings) out of court. If your parents have an estate planning attorney, we encourage you to schedule a meeting with him/her. This will only help you better understand and prepare yourself for that time to come.

Here at North County Legal, we would be happy to guide your parents through that process. Schedule a free consultation with us if you’re ready to figure out the next steps for yourself and your family.