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Erin Lowry

Millennials, It’s Time to Talk Estate Planning With Your Parents

It’s not an easy subject to raise, but best to be proactive before an emergency hits.

No time like the present. 

No time like the present. 

Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America

Despite years of being seen as self-involved, over-indulged children who can’t get it together, Millennials have been growing up. In fact, some Millennials are aging into their forties. This means that our parents, many of whom are Boomers, are reaching an age at which we’ll need to have some difficult conversations with them. One that’s paramount is the estate planning discussion, which goes far beyond the matter of wills and inheritance.

We often think of estate planning as the process of designating who receives what assets and how to settle any debts. But an estate plan also involves detailing who would make decisions should a parent be incapacitated. That way, if an emergency arose, loved ones could immediately focus on their care instead of stressing about how to make critical choices. Without an estate plan, a child may be at a loss about what a parent would want, and the courts may need to step in.