Why should you speak to your adult kids about your estate plan?
It gives you a chance to tell your children how you want your estate to be handled and puts their minds at ease that they will have instructions to follow. This conversation also allows you to discuss their inheritance (or lack thereof). Unfortunately, many parents do not discuss finances with their children, which leads to surprises –both good and bad upon the parent’s passing. Therefore, it is best to discuss your estate plan with your children before you pass so they know where to find the documents and gain access to any financial accounts they might need to avoid confusion.
How to start the conversation
Starting a conversation about your estate plan can be difficult because many people do not like to discuss the topic of death. However, it’s an important conversation. Pick a time when all of your children are together and tell them where your documents are kept. When talking about money they might receive, you can be as specific or general as you feel necessary. Letting children or beneficiaries know the details of your plan can significantly reduce any friction that may arise after your passing.
Explain your reasoning
If you are not dividing up the assets equally, it is good practice to explain your reasoning behind this decision to your children so there are no surprises down the road. For example, one sibling might have borrowed against their inheritance which would explain the discrepancy in the estate plan and help reduce causing hard feelings. Make the reasoning behind this decision clear. You never want a situation where the adult children cannot have holidays together because they are squabbling over the estate.
Inform your kids of changes
Life happens, and changes to your estate plan and financial circumstances may happen too. Assets are purchased, individuals pass away, and investments might be lost. All of these can impact your estate documents and your beneficiaries’ inheritance. Keeping your children informed when changes are made can help reduce any friction caused upon your passing.
Heidi S. Webb, Attorney at Law, serves clients in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Port Orange, and beyond with matters of Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Probate Law. Contact her today to schedule a free consultation. Visit her page on Facebook, or see what her clients are saying to learn more about Heidi.