Key Questions to Ask Your Parents About Their Estate

Estate planning is a topic that is not easy to talk about, especially when it comes to our parents. It can be uncomfortable, emotional, and awkward. However, it is important to have these conversations with our loved ones to ensure that their wishes are carried out and that their legacy is preserved.

As an estate planning attorney, I have seen firsthand how a lack of planning can lead to confusion, disputes, and unnecessary expenses. That’s why I have put together this guide to help you ask your parents the right questions about their estate.

If you have further questions, contact the team at Apple Payne Law in Kernersville. We can help you with all your estate planning needs.

Do You Have a Will?

The first question you should ask your parents is if they have a will and if so, where they are keeping it.
A will is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets will be distributed after their death. If your parents do not have a will, it is essential that they speak with a wills attorney to create one.

Without a will, their assets will be distributed according to the laws of their state, which may not align with their wishes.

Who Is the Executor?

The next question to ask your parents is who they have named as the executor of their will.

The executor is the person responsible for carrying out the instructions in the will and ensuring that the decedent’s assets are distributed according to their wishes. If you are not named as the executor, it is important to know who is and if there is a backup executor in case the first choice is unable to fulfill its duties.

Do You Have an Attorney?

It is also important to ask your parents if they have an estate planning attorney who helped them create their will. Knowing the name and contact information of their attorney can be helpful in the event that you need to contact them after your parent’s passing.

Additionally, the attorney who created the will may have important information about the probate process in your state.

Do You Have a Safe Deposit Box?

If your parents have a safe deposit box, it is important to know where it is located and who is listed as an authorized signer. In many cases, a court order may be required to gain access to the contents of the safe deposit box.

Knowing the location of the safe deposit box and who is authorized to access it can save a lot of time and stress during the probate process.

Where Do You Bank?

It is also important to know where your parents bank and if they have any bank accounts or investment policies.

If your parents have life insurance policies or investment policies, knowing the name of the company and a phone number to call can be helpful in the event of their passing.

Additionally, if your parents have multiple bank accounts, it is important to know where they are located to ensure that all of their assets are accounted for.

Where Do You Keep Valuable Papers?

In addition to a will and safe deposit box, your parents may have valuable papers such as deeds, titles, and other legal documents. Knowing where these papers are located can be helpful in the event of their passing.

If your parents have a home safe or office safe, it is important to know where it is located and how to access it.

Do You Have Life Insurance or Investment Policies?

Knowing if your parents have life insurance or investment policies is important in the event of their passing. These policies may have a cash value that can be used to pay for funeral expenses or other end-of-life costs.

Additionally, knowing the name of the company and a phone number to call can be helpful in the event of their passing.

Who Do You Want Me to Notify?

Knowing who your parents want you to notify in the event of their passing is important. This can include family members, close friends, and other individuals who were important to them. Having a list of individuals to notify can save a lot of time and stress during the funeral planning process.

Contact Apple Payne Law Today

Having conversations with your parents about their estate can be a difficult and uncomfortable topic, but it is crucial to ensure that their wishes are respected and their assets are properly handled after their passing.

By asking the right questions and having open and honest discussions, you can gain a better understanding of their estate plan and make sure that everything is in order.

At Apple Payne Law, our Kernersville estate planning attorneys are dedicated to helping families create comprehensive estate plans that meet their unique needs and goals. We understand the importance of planning for the future and want to help make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

If you need assistance with estate planning, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We are committed to providing compassionate and knowledgeable legal services to help you and your loved ones plan for the future. Thank you for considering Apple Payne Law for your estate planning needs.

Author Bio

Ronald D. Payne II
Ronald D. Payne II is the CEO and Managing Attorney of Apple Payne Law, a North Carolina law firm he founded in 2018. With more than 11 years of experience practicing law, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including business law, estate planning, family law, probate, and traffic law.

Ronald received his Juris Doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law and is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being awarded the 2020 Client’s Choice Award by Avvo and multiple Rising Star awards from Super Lawyers.

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