Houston Estate Planning Attorney: How to Talk to Your Parents about Power of Attorney

As a Houston estate planning attorney, I can help your parents come up with an estate planning strategy. But first, you’ve got to have those tough conversations. Here’s how to talk to them about power of attorney.

Having medical and statutory durable power of attorney over your parents’ affairs is a critical part of estate and end-of-life planning. In the event one or both can no longer make decisions for themselves, these documents allows you to make legally binding decisions about your parents’ property, medical care, and financial responsibilities.

But before you start worrying about which is right for your parents, you need to talk to them about it. These tips will help you take on this difficult task.

Start the Conversation Now

Nobody knows what will happen in the future. The sooner you have the conversation, the better. Even if your parents are still young, it’s best to be prepared for the unexpected. As uncomfortable as it feels to discuss the possibility that your parents could be in an accident that leaves them incapacitated, it is worth the discomfort to know that you can be there to make the decisions that need to be made. Here are a few ways to start the conversation:

  • Ask your parents about their experiences with end-of-life planning for your grandparents.
  • If you have a friend who recently had to deal with end-of-life planning, tell them about it.
  • Wait for your parents to bring up a topic that relates to power of attorney, such as a friend who was recently in the hospital.

Listen More than You Talk

After you manage to get the conversation started, it is critical that you listen more than you talk. It’s very likely that your parents have already created an estate plan that includes contingencies like incapacitation. By all means, ask questions so that you can get a clear picture about what their wishes are, but arguing about something you disagree with will only shut down the conversation.

Help Them with Their Research

If your parents have not yet created an estate plan, it’s acceptable for you to help them do some research. For instance, you might want to give them information on some of the estate planning documents you think they should include. At the very least, you can help them find an attorney that handles estate planning.

Talk to a Houston Estate Planning Attorney Today

Are your parents ready to discuss their estate planning needs? I am here to help. Get in touch with me today so that we can sit down together to come up with a plan that fits their situation.