It has become increasingly common for aging parents to talk with their children about their estate planning, whether by involving them in the decision-making process or by letting them know what their wishes are and what their wills or trusts contain.
Every family is different, and every child has a distinct personality. Still, it is clear that this trend is beneficial for all parties involved, as it significantly reduces sibling quarrels, issues with the estate’s executor and contesting of wills.
The importance of estate planning is beyond doubt. However, sometimes parents hesitate to talk to their kids about their estate plans for various reasons. Some of these reasons include not wanting to upset one child if they are getting more than another or if one is selected to be the executor and person in charge of the division of assets.
Parents who communicate with their adult kids about their estate plans find that they:
- Avoid confusion or ambiguity in the estate plan’s documents
- Deal with sibling quarrels now rather than letting them deal with them on their own later
- Benefit from having these conversations because they open the lines of communication
In contrast, not sharing any information with your adult kids can harm you and them in the end because nobody will really know what your intent was after you are no longer here. For this reason, keeping these documents secret is not beneficial and could harm your plans and what you want to achieve.
Conversations about estate planning with your kids may not be the most comfortable topic. However, it is well worth considering the benefits of them knowing your wishes. After all, you are the priority, and your estate plan is yours. You are responsible for ensuring you do everything possible to make your decisions known and respected.