What should I do if I realize that my parents do not have an estate plan in place?


Well, if you know that your parents don’t have an estate plan in place, I encourage you to speak with them about it, because you’re concerned about their welfare and not your own. Remember, a proper estate plan includes incapacity or disability planning. Parents should be concerned more about incapacity than they should be about transferring assets to children. After all, what they’ve worked for during their lives is for them. When they’re done with it, the kids get what’s left. So as a child, if you know your parents don’t have an estate plan, encourage them to meet with an estate planning attorney at least to talk about incapacity planning, so they’re well-cared for during any period of their own disability.

Note: The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 signed into law in December 2017 increased the exemption amounts mentioned in these videos. The personal estate, gift, and generation-skipping tax lifetime exemption was increased to $11.18 million per person. The annual gift tax exclusion was increased to $15,000 per donee per year.

Both amounts are indexed for inflation and may increase year over year until December 31, 2025, when the law sunsets and reverts to 2017 values