5 ways to have Inheritance talks with parents
Updated: Nov 14, 2022
Have you ever tried talking about money with your parents? It is likely that the conversation has mostly been one-way traffic, where you were told to save, invest, and not splurge. But what about the other way round? Have you ever tried asking your parents how much savings they have, who their nominees are, or do they have any succession plans? In all probability, either you have avoided the topic because you don’t want to talk about any untoward situation of your parents’ absence, or you have been dismissed. The latter is pretty common because most parents think they are in control of their assets and don’t need to ‘discuss’ anything. But your parents are not getting any younger, and things may not always be smooth.
Now, talking about inheritance with your parents isn’t as easy as it sounds. So how should you go about it? Read on to know five inheritance conversation starters you can try:
1. Talk about recent news
There is no dearth of inheritance, property, or finance-related news in India. Whether it is talking about inflation and rising prices of objects of daily needs to reforms in tax laws, healthcare system, insurance, etc., pages on business broadsheets are always full of news. Start talking to your parents with one such interesting news and eventually get them talking about how they plan to utilise their savings. Do they want to diversify, who are their nominees, and how can you contribute to their plans, even if it is just sharing ideas?
2. Talk about your finances
People in their mid-to-late-30s or early 40s are mostly financially sound with stable careers. However, a growing career may mean more money, which needs proper investments. You can start talking to your parents by asking for suggestions or discussing your portfolio. Once they feel comfortable, ask them what they have done with their savings? Is there any way you can help them further?
3. Talk about “what if” situations
What if they need money for an emergency? What if one of them falls ill suddenly? What if they both meet with an accident (God forbid)? There can be so many unforeseen “what ifs” in our lives, and one must be prepared for such situations. No matter how unpleasant this sounds, put your thoughts across clearly. Ask them about their contingency plans and who is aware of them — a friend, a lawyer, or is it a financial advisor? Do they have a will or plan to write one? While an only child may anyway get all of it, they need to know where and how much is there to figure things out.
4. Give references of relatives or friends
In case you know of a relative or friend who has already planned their succession by writing a will or consolidating everything, it becomes easier. Point them out while starting the conversation and tell your parents what a wonderful thing these people have done and how it helped their legal heirs and family members. An example is always the best way to convey a message.
5. Lastly, lead them to helpful platforms
Not many parents in their 60s or 70s are tech-savvy or aware of the technologies where one can easily write a will and save it on the Internet. Advanced concepts like the Government of India’s DigiLocker are also alien to most. Introduce your parents to such platforms and tell them how helpful these are. If you still haven’t discussed succession and inheritance with your parents, don’t delay. Assure them it is not their money you are seeking but just trying to help them ensure their assets don’t remain unclaimed in their absence.
You can start with opening an account for them on EasyInherit and take the conversation ahead from there.