Now more than ever, conversations with friends, families, and strangers are different. It is hard to avoid polarizing subjects during our daily interactions. The chats can be dicey and trying to avoid sensitive subjects can be challenging. However, there has never been a better time to capitalize on the estate planning conversation.
The pandemic conversation is not going away, and certainly it will be the subject of talks, media coverage, social media posts and anything else you read or hear every day. While that subject may be getting old, it exists and should be addressed. Aspects of estate planning should be introduced in all of these conversations. It certainly can help those who are a little uneasy about being in public or their reaction to getting the virus. It is an easy way to introduce the subject of estate planning and how it can help.
One simple conversation can start around the topic of advance directives. Since most people set those up without a pandemic in mind, it is an easy topic to revisit. Life saving measures may have been considered with a different situation in mind but in today’s environment, a person’s use of an advance directive could be considerably different. The language contained in the advance directive is a necessary topic and a great engagement topic for estate planning.
Another engaging question is locating important contacts, instructions, and documents. The conversation isn’t necessarily about whether the person you are speaking with can locate them, but more importantly if loved ones are able to access those important items. If you are having the conversation, accessing those can be imperative to the loved ones moving forward. Could you offer a way to help them organize their estate in a manner where the loved ones can understand how to move forward?
Story telling or discussing a recent event creates a seamless transition into the topic. Ask your family, friends, or prospects in the topic of conversation “If that happened to you, do you have a plan?” The majority of Americans do not have a plan and really don’t think much about it until something is about to happen. Bringing up a recent news story or someone else’s experience can resonate with someone who needs an estate plan.
Parents with young children need protection more than ever. Something to question or consider is who the guardians are for those children. Are those guardians grandparents or someone with an underlying condition which may make them more susceptible to symptoms of the virus? There are a handful of things to consider for parents of young children and those conversations are very easy to have in today’s environment.
One of the greatest motivators is fear of the unknown. Now more than ever, there is so much uncertainty that this could work as a significant opportunity to move prospects toward estate planning. It is your duty to have these conversations and offer to help. While you are doing the right thing, what you get back from this can be a significant driver in a challenging economic time. There is no better time than now for this type of conversation.