Some baby boomer parents in Colorado may be concerned about the estate planning failures of their children. In turn, their children may feel that they are simply struggling too much with debt and day-to-day issues to worry about it. One possible solution is for the parents to pay for their children’s estate plan.
However, this offer must be made carefully. Parents should consider what approaches are less likely to trigger family drama or cause people to fall back into their old patterns. It might be best to bring up the idea in the context of an event like a family death or the birth of a child. It can also help to sit down to a family meeting with a third party participating, but children should not be blindsided by the idea. If parents appear to be trying to advance their own agendas, children may be less receptive.
Parents must also make sure they respect their children’s boundaries. Paying for the plan does not give them the right to access to the plan. In some cases, it might be the attorney who has to enforce this. However, parents can help children with elements of the plan if they want assistance. For the most part, children usually accept the parent’s offer to pay for the plan.
Estate planning could involve various different aspects. For example, a person who has minor children can use a will to name a guardian. An attorney might also be able to discuss trusts and other estate planning vehicles that could be useful. Even people who do not have a full estate plan should be sure to fill out beneficiary designation forms for retirement accounts, life insurance policies or other assets.