Over the years, many sitcoms, memes and jokes have been made about the stress of the holidays. Whether these issues are cooking disasters, family feuds or awkward conversations, the holidays can be a virtual minefield to navigate.
Taking advantage of having family members all in one place at one time may be a great opportunity to discuss your parents’ estate and tax planning, and it may not. If you decide that this holiday season is the right time and you’re swiftly met with resistance, then persisting may not produce favorable results.
Why are these conversations so hard?
A poll of American adults was published last month which outlined three reasons why financial topics are often difficult to discuss among family members:
· 22% of respondents: The study showed that at the top of the list is wanting to avoid family conflict created by talking about finances.
· 20%: The desire to not burden family members with personal financial situations is a close second.
· 18%: Lastly, just having a general feeling of discomfort prevents many American adults from having needful discussions about finances.
It is important to find out where your parents are in the process, or if they have even begun. It can also be comforting to offer support and resources to reassure them that they are not alone. However, it is also key to pick the right time and place to have these valuable discussions, and the holidays may or may not be appropriate.
Aside from discretion, it can be comforting to realize that you are not required to come up with a comprehensive strategy all on your own. Tax strategies, real estate plans, long-term care needs, trusts and wills can be enough to make people throw up their hands in frustration. To make sure that your parents are properly prepared, the guidance of qualified professionals can make all the difference.