Helping Your Parents Plan, And Knowing When it is Too Late

Estate planning for oneself is difficult enough. Unfortunately, many adult Americans also find themselves assisting their aging parents, who haven’t even began the process of planning. Assisting an aging parent with estate planning can often be a tall order. Just as important as it is to understand how to approach the situation, it is equally important to know when your parent is no longer mentally fit to sign such documents. A recent article discusses how to assist your parents in putting an estate plan in place, and when to know it may be too late.

If your parent(s) still have testamentary capacity, the best thing for them to do is begin estate planning early. The earlier a will is drafted in a persons life, the more difficult it will be for a beneficiary to challenge the will based on an end-of-life capacity issue. Additionally, if your parents begin to loose mental capacity before putting an estate plan in place, it will become difficult or impossible for them to describe what they want.


To encourage your parents to plan, simply have a talk with them. If you have siblings, involve them in the conversation as well. One good way to begin this conversation is to discuss your own estate plan. Explain that you have recently considered what you would do should the unthinkable happen, and ask them if they have done the same. If your parents firmly refuse to speak with you on the matter, ask them to meet with an estate planning attorney.

Watch for warning signs that your parents are beginning to deal with capacity issues. This could be as simple as overdue bills or forgetting to eat a meal. Often simple forgetfulness can be a precursor to more serious mental degradation. If you believe your parent is beginning to face mental incapacity, be sure to consult a doctor before having your parent sign any estate planning documents.

For expert assistance in helping your parents with their estate plan, contact us at (626) 696-3145.

Request A Consultation

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.