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How to talk to your parents about your inheritance

If you are curious about your future inheritance, you may not know how to approach the topic. Many families do not openly talk about finances or death. Estate planning and inheritances are often seen as taboo due to cultural discomfort. 

Even if it is an awkward conversation to have, it is an important one. If you do not have a basic understanding of your inheritance and the reasoning behind it, there may be serious family conflicts or probate litigation down the road. Here are a few tips to broach this topic. 

Request a meeting at the right time

The last thing you want to do is suddenly dive into the discussion. Instead, pick a calm time to introduce the topic in a casual manner. Generally, it is a good idea to avoid having this conversation over the holidays. Include your siblings, if you have any, to make sure everyone is on the same page. 

Keep the focus on your parents, not yourself

Even if you have a great relationship with mom and dad, do not make the conversation solely about finances or what you will inherit. Instead, talk about what your parents want, to make everyone feel at ease. 

Do not push too hard

What happens if your parents tell you their finances are none of your business? Some people are not comfortable talking about such topics. If this happens, try to respect your parents. For example, you may tell them that you do not need to know exact dollar amounts, but you simply want a general idea. It is crucial to know when you should hold back. You can still try to pry a little bit, but do not go so far as to damage the relationship. 

Talking about money and estate plans may cause discomfort, but it is a necessary pursuit to avoid conflict and obtain clarity. 

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