As a parent, you may not be sure if you want to inform your adult children about your estate. On one hand, you may feel like you want to explain your decisions to them. On the other, you may want to keep your plans quiet, because you might not want to have to have that discussion at this moment in time.
Realistically, it is smart to talk to your children about estate planning and what you plan in the future if they are expected to participate in your care or in the administration of your estate. You don’t necessarily need to explain if you have a child or family member down as a beneficiary, but discussing why that choice was made could help avoid family conflicts.
In general, it’s a good idea to set aside a time to talk about your estate plan with all your beneficiaries and those you’ve assigned to roles like guardianships, financial or health care power of attorneys or the executorship.
Talking about your estate plan can prevent frustrating conflicts
One of the most beneficial reasons to talk about an estate plan is because it can help your family avoid conflicts in the future. For example, if you assign your daughter to be your health care power of attorney and your son to take care of your financial issues, you may want to chat with both of them about those decisions and why you’ve decided to put each of them in those roles.
It’s not a bad idea to get everyone together to discuss the estate plan at the same time. Doing this can help minimize the risk of beneficiaries or others walking away with the wrong idea about your estate plan or spreading misinformation later.
With the right approach, you can talk about things like your will or the trusts you’ve set up, so your loved ones understand your goals and are less likely to contest your decisions. This will save them time and money in the future when they’re trying to work through all of the legal aspects of administering the estate and moving on.