More and more parents are making the choice to involve their adult children in their estate planning to ensure that their wishes are respected and that their children understand their desires.
Benefits of involving your children
Involving adult children in your estate planning can be very helpful. It not only allows your children to know what your wishes are, ask questions and understand the process, but it can also serve as a great tool to avoid misunderstandings or fights between siblings later on.
Suppose you decide to involve your adult children in your estate planning. In that case, you also have the option to introduce them to the executor you have chosen (if they are not one of your children, in which case, you should probably let them know that you would like them to be your executor.)
Different approaches to the conversation
However, some parents find having these conversations with their adult children uncomfortable and problematic. There are different ways of approaching this conversation. Keep in mind that you are in control of your wishes. You can tell them as little or as much as you desire and aim to stay in control of the conversation at all times; this is about your wishes.
- Some parents choose a collaborative approach, asking their adult children for their opinion, and they consider that when deciding what to do with their estate.
- Other parents choose an informative approach, which is less collaborative and more about informing your children what you have already decided, without the intent of having them influence your wishes, necessarily, but rather to communicate your wishes as a way to avoid potential issues and misunderstandings later on, when you are not present to clarify them.
Whichever way you approach the subject, consider involving your children in your estate planning in some way and letting them know who will be there for them should they have any questions, concerns or legal issues related to your estate.