Worried that your parents have not done their estate planning? Unsure how to bring it up with them? 

You’re not alone. Most people in the United States have not done any estate planning. Children know this, even as their parents continue to put it off. However, it’s a difficult topic to bring up. You don’t want to make it sound like you’re looking forward to the day when you get their assets or that all you think about is what they can give you financially. 

One good way to bring this up is to mention the fear of a dispute. Maybe you and a specific sibling always ran into conflict as children, but you’ve gotten better with age. Still, you’re worried those conflicts will rise again if you don’t have clear instructions. You don’t want to get into an argument with your sibling that hurts your relationship. Your parents don’t want that either, so bringing it up in this way doesn’t seem like you’re just looking at the money. 

Another option is to write your own will. Maybe you’re only in your 30s and you, too, have been putting it off. If you do it, that gives you an easy way to mention some of the choices that you had to make and why you felt it was important to do it early. You can then ask your parents if they have done it yet — even if you know very well that they haven’t. 

Estate planning is important, but it can get complicated. Make sure you’re well aware of the steps you need to take or the topics to discuss with your parents.