When people want to talk about their wills and trusts, they tend to turn to their spouses, friends, executors and attorneys. However, one potential group that people tend to put off discussing the estate with is their heirs, more specifically their children.
It is understandable why. Doing so means discussing your death, an uncomfortable topic for all parties involved. You are also afraid that telling your children how much they will inherit might demotivate them from working hard now.
However, many observers say it is better to discuss your estate planning sooner rather than later. Doing so holds several advantages for their future development and your inheritance.
Dealing with will problems.
One document drafted in private can ruin any familial bonds built over your life. Nearly half of Americans do not have wills to divide their estate properly among their heirs, leading to numerous family arguments. A son might be angry that his sister got more than him or vice-versa. Perhaps one child had plans to use your boat after you were gone but you gave it to your brother-in-law.
Even if it might be painful having to argue with your children about their inheritance, it can be wise so you can explain your reasoning for why the will is the way it is rather than leave them guessing. You can also alter the estate plan if your children make convincing arguments for potential changes.
You can find potential executors.
You want to hire individuals that you trust to handle your estate after you are gone. If you have a good relationship with your children and you tell them everything they need to know about the will, they can serve as potential candidates for executors.
However, you must be careful in your selection. Not only are there extra requirements besides integrity to consider selecting your executors, but selecting just one of your children to serve might cause some family drama.
They start planning for the future.
Discussions with your children about complicated finances significantly aid in their growth as adults. Not only will they start planning what to do with their inheritance, but they have more preparation developing their wills for their heirs.
It is impossible to predict the future, but you do not want your estate and family to be in chaos once you are gone. Your children can help and learn in the process. There is a lot to consider in estate planning, so it good to introduce the subject as soon as it’s feasible.