While many people in Colorado may have a vague idea that they’ll receive an inheritance from their parents, they may stay more or less in the dark until their parents have passed, and their will is read. However, it is entirely possible to sit down and have a conversation with your parents about their inheritance plans while your parents are still alive, and, in fact there are some good reasons for doing so.

Of course, talking about your inheritance is not necessarily a comfortable conversation. One study on the topic reports that the primary reason respondents gave for not having discussions with their parents about their parents’ estate plan is that they didn’t believe it was a conversation they should be initiating. Our culture sees money as a very private matter. In fact, only 21 percent of parents surveyed reported that they informed their children about their inheritance plans.

However, it is important to be proactive in such matters. For example, it is good to know whether your parents have executed a will, trust or other estate planning documents. If they don’t have an estate plan by the time they pass on, their estate will pass on through the laws of intestacy, which may or may not be what they would have wanted. Moreover, by discussing estate planning before your parents pass, your parents can explain their intentions behind their will or trust, which can avoid conflict especially if one sibling is to inherit more than another.

Discussing estate planning with your parents may be a bit awkward. But in the end, it can be a conversation that benefits all involved. Knowing what to expect can allow you plan proactively both for your parents needs and your own.