When you take the time to start focusing on your estate plan, one thing you should consider is speaking with your children about your plans. If your children are teens, young adults or even older adults, they should understand what your estate plan entails, who is going to be your executor and other facts that may impact them in the future.
Including your children in your conversations about your estate plan will help prevent conflicts later when you may not be able to explain yourself or your intentions. Here’s what you should do if you want to bring up this important topic.
- Hold a family meeting
The first thing you should do is remember that talking to your kids individually may seem like you’re singling them out. It’s a better idea to have a meeting with everyone together so that it doesn’t seem like you’re keeping secrets from anyone else or favoring one child over the other.
- Talk to your children about the basic plan
During this meeting, talk to your children about your basic plans. For example, do you have a healthcare power of attorney or financial power of attorney selected? Who will it be? If it’s one of your children, ask them if they are comfortable taking on that role. If others have objections, listen to them and hear what they have to say.
- Take time to resolve conflicts while you have the opportunity
Finally, take the time to resolve questions and arguments while you still can. If one sibling is feeling left out or like they’re not getting as much as others, listen to them and explain your opinion. If someone has decided that they would not like to be the executor or that they don’t think another sibling was a good choice for the role, talk that out. This can open your eyes to issues you didn’t know about and may also help you make adjustments that everyone can be satisfied with.
These are a few tips for talking to your children about your estate plan. Let them know what to expect, and you could help them avoid arguments in the future.