Thursday, February 23, 2012

Starting the Discussion About Inheritance

Senior Thursday

Talking about inheritance with a senior can be uncomfortable. First, for the family members who don't want to seem greedy, and second, for the senior whose life is admittedly ending. After all, who wants to talk about leaving this earth?

Unfortunately, it is a discussion that should be held. It will make matters much easier after their death. You don't want their estate to go to probate. And you certainly don't want family members arguing over their money or possessions.

So how to start the discussion? Be clear about your motives. You are not in this for yourself, but rather for them. Know that others may not share your opinion. But be respectful of other's opinions.

"What if…?" is a natural conversation starter, as is "What would you have done…?" Use these opportunities to begin the conversation.

Finally, don't leave it at conversation. Once they face reality, have them see an estate attorney to put their decisions in writing. And have them call a professional organizer to coordinate the downsizing.

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