Parents of adult children sometimes struggle with deciding whether to include their adult children in estate planning conversations or whether they don’t tell them anything. There are benefits to discussing your estate planning with your children, even though it may seem difficult.
Why involve your children in your estate planning?
The benefits of involving your children in your estate planning, whether you allow them to participate or inform them of your decisions, are:
- Being honest with your children about what you plan to do with your estate
- It will enable your children to ask questions or challenge your choices when you can answer
- It will allow you to introduce your children to your chosen executor (assuming it is not one of your children, in which case they should be aware)
- It can prevent misunderstandings and disputes between siblings
Of course, there are different ways of approaching the conversation with your adult children. Depending on your relationship with them and their personalities, you can include them collaboratively, allowing them to help you make decisions. You can inform them what you have decided to do if you prefer.
A collaborative approach is asking your children to become part of the decision-making process regarding your estate planning. For example, asking them for their opinion and including their thoughts and points of view in your decisions.
An informative approach to involving your adult children in the planning of your estate is simply sharing with them as little or as much as you want about your wishes. Even though they don’t have a say in your decisions, they can at least know what you have decided and have the opportunity to ask questions, should they have any.
In either approach, involving your adult children in estate planning provides many benefits. Consider your situation, your children, their ages and personalities, and make sure you make the best decision for yourself.