Talking with loved ones about estate planning and inheritance can be challenging, especially as it centers around two difficult topics — money and death. But talking with your adult children about their inheritance can provide significant advantages for you and them. It can help your heirs better prepare for the future and give you a chance to explain the reasoning behind your decisions.
Setting and managing expectations
If you’re comfortable doing so, walk your children through your estate in detail, and be clear about what they will inherit. Even a general idea of the size of your estate can help inform your kids’ financial choices and manage expectations about what they may (or may not) inherit.
This is also a great time to discuss your family legacy. Talk to your kids about your values and financial priorities, such as charitable giving. If you have personal anecdotes or financial wisdom to pass down, now is also a good time to share those.
Be sure your children know where you store important documents and how to access them. This may include contact information for important players in your estate plan, such as your financial advisor, estate attorney, and whoever has power of attorney.
Explain your choices
Depending on how many children you have, the ages of each one, and other life factors, the inheritance each child receives may not be equal. Going over these decisions now can head off any hard feelings or confusion.
If you’d like one of your kids to take on an important role such as executor or power of attorney, explain their responsibilities ahead of time. You may discover they don’t feel up to the task and that you need to choose another person. Whether you’ve chosen someone else in the family or even a professional executor, use this discussion to explain why.
How and when to begin the conversation
This can seem like a challenging conversation to have. Remember, we’re here to help. An outside party, like a qualified financial advisor, can be a great moderator for these discussions. Keep in mind, that it’s alright if the discussion doesn’t go exactly as planned. You’re simply opening a dialogue and it may take more than one conversation to get on the same page.
This material is intended to provide general information and should not be construed as advice. Strategy Financial Group does not provide specific legal or tax advice. Please consult with a qualified tax or legal professional for guidance on your individual situation. Investment advice is offered through Strategy Financial Services, LLC, a registered investment adviser. Insurance products are offered separately through Strategy Financial Insurance, LLC.