Estate Planning For Peace Of Mind

Should you discuss your estate with your adult children?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Inheritance is a topic often shrouded in secrecy and discomfort, but discussing this issue doesn’t have to be so tough. Suppose you’ve established strong bonds with your children; best believe, you can discuss any topic with them with the right approach.

The reason many people like to keep their estate under wraps is because they don’t want to deal with the emotions discussing this sensitive topic may evoke. However, if you have stable family dynamics, open communication about inheritance can be crucial for helping to ensure clarity and the management of expectations.

Clarity and transparency

Perhaps the most compelling reason to let your kids know what they’ll inherit from your estate is to foster healthy relationships within your family. When everything is laid bare, you leave no room for speculations that might spur sibling rivalries. Speaking with your kids about inheritance before your estate is handed over to them can give you a unique opportunity to express your intentions. This way, by the time they’re inheriting your estate, they will understand why certain assets had to go to specific siblings.

Managing expectations

When your kids have no clue what constitutes your estate, they may have big or small expectations in contrast to reality. This can be a disadvantage because they won’t be prepared to manage their inheritance when the time comes. To help ensure the longevity of your legacy, you may want to disclose how you want your estate to be distributed among your adult children so that they can adjust their expectations accordingly.

Preparing for the future

Did you know that many people who inherit wealth struggle when the windfall is unexpected? Openly discussing your estate with your adult children well in advance gives them an opportunity to prepare for the future. Knowing what assets they may inherit can help them psychologically prepare so that when the time comes, they can make informed financial decisions. It can also prompt important discussions about financial responsibility, wealth management and other practical matters that are often overlooked.

If you have established strong bonds with your kids, discussing your estate shouldn’t be a problem. However, it can still help to incorporate legal guidance into the dynamic. This can help to ensure that your adult children understand what they stand to inherit and allow them to ask questions in informed ways.