If you’re making an estate plan, you may want to sit down and talk to your direct beneficiaries. Your adult children will likely inherit much of your estate, and you may want to have a family conversation with them while making your plan.
Some people shy away from these conversations because they feel uncomfortable or private. But below are a few reasons why it is important to talk about your estate plan.
Where are the documents?
First off, if you pass away unexpectedly, people need to know where to find all of the proper documents. How do they access your accounts? What are your passwords? Where do you keep your financial records? If you’ve never talked about this, it is a lot harder for them to sort through after the fact.
What do people expect?
Next, you want to find out what your children expect. You can often reduce the odds of a dispute. If two adult children each expect to inherit the same asset, for example, it’s best to find out about this in advance so the three of you can work together to find an applicable solution. If they both just assume that they will get the asset, there’s a high chance of a dispute in the future.
Is anything different than you expected?
Finally, you need to make sure that your own expectations line up with what your beneficiaries really want. Maybe you’re passing on a family business, for instance. But do your adult children actually want the business? Are they interested in running it? Once again, it’s best to address these things in advance.
Making an estate plan can be complex, but it does help provide a stable future for your family. Look into all the legal tools at your disposal.