With Thanksgiving coming up, you may want to use it to talk with your family about the future. With your parents in their 70s, it is vital to ensure that mom and dad make or update their estate plan while they still can. With your mom’s family history of dementia and your dad’s heart condition, it would be a mistake to delay the discussion.

Planning for the event that your parents need to go into a nursing home is a priority. It can be one of the most challenging conversations. Depending on how open your family communication is, you may be able to discuss it around the table with your parents and siblings. However, for many families, this could be disastrous. Perhaps your little sister promised your dad she would look after him when he was old. Maybe your mother has no intention of ever entering a home and will accuse you of trying to lock her away so you can get your hands on her money.

When discussing how your parents will pass their estate on to you and your siblings, realize that can be tricky as well. However, if your parents do not have an estate plan made, an unnecessary amount of money will go to the tax office and be paid in fees. There are several estate planning tools available to avoid this.

These conversations may be uncomfortable if you have not had them before. In effect, you are admitting that your parents are going to die sometime soon. They will know that if they go into a nursing home, they are unlikely to leave alive. Turning up with a detailed plan may seem too forthright. It may be better to agree on a date with your parents to visit an attorney and learn more about the different options together.