How to talk about wills to your parents

You might feel uncomfortable about raising the subject of wills, but it is much easier when everything is discussed in a frank and friendly manner.

It’s not something we like to talk about – after all, life’s for living. But there’s no avoiding the fact that at some point we should all think about how to get our affairs in order.
While we appear to be more comfortable than ever when it comes to dealing with death – with personalised funeral services and social media remembrance sites which allow us to pay tribute to loved ones – we’ve still not got to grips with one key element of dying: making a will. Recent research has shown that just one third of UK adults has a will.

That means for many, saying goodbye to a loved one could bring legal wrangles, disputes and upset.
Regardless of age, the time is always right to have that ‘talk’ with your parents and make sure that, whatever happens, everything is just as it should be. Talking before anyone is ill, and in a low-key, chatty way, can turn a taboo subject into a rewarding conversation, rather than something quite onerous.

Don’t spring the conversation on your loved one – introduce it gently, and together plan a date to sit down and discuss it all, explaining why it matters.

The time is now

Only 21% of the over 65s with children have a will and Lasting Power of Attorney in place, which is a worrying statistic given that it’s a sad fact of life that things can change quickly – sometimes overnight.

You may reach a stage where you need to look after your parents’ finances and make decisions regarding their health as they are no longer able to do so. Without a Lasting Power of Attorney in place getting legal permission to do this can take months and be very costly.

Being prepared and discussing with your parents about what they want to happen to their estate and ensuring all the paperwork is in place means less worry and anxiety for the people you love.

And as time wears on your will and theirs can all be updated and reviewed, to reflect any change in circumstances.

Family matters

You may be worried that your parents haven’t written their will, but have you got your family covered? As we get older and family comes along, we’re often too busy to give much thought to what might be ahead, but it’s particularly important to make plans if you have a young family to consider – after all, you would want to know they’re looked after should the very worst occur.

Making a will doesn’t take long, it can cost less than you think. Some law firms offer special will packages so you can organise wills for yourself and other family members at a reduced cost. Take the time to talk to a professional who can guide you through the various options.

Looking ahead

The future seems to rush towards us very quickly at times. Knowing