How to Talk to Your Adult Children About Your Estate Plans

Thinking about your eventual death can be difficult but preparing for it by creating a will or establishing a trust is one of the best ways to ensure your loved ones are provided for after you are gone. Initiating this conversation can be difficult, even for those whose children have reached adulthood, so we’ve included a few tips to help with this conversation. For any additional estate planning-related questions, you should consider speaking with an experienced estate planning lawyer who can advise you.

Decide on Your Topics of Conversation Ahead of Time

Just because you want to be open about your estate plan with your children does not mean you need to tell them everything about your financial situation. Before sitting down with your children, it’s a good idea to decide what issues you want to discuss. Important topics could include information regarding:

● Plans to pay for any long-term care or medical treatment that may be necessary in the future;
● The location of your important financial and legal documents;
● How to contact your financial and medical advisors;
● Any funds that will go towards paying funeral arrangements;
● Important end-of-life decisions, such as the existence of a DNR; and
● Who will be receiving which assets, including personal property, insurance payouts, ownership of business interests, real estate and investments.

These are only a few issues you may want to discuss with your children when explaining how your estate will be divided. Of course, it’s up to you how much you want to discuss – and at what time.

Be Honest

Although conversations about estate planning can be difficult, it is important for those who are involved in this process to be open and honest about their decisions. This can be more challenging than it sounds, as most parents want to spare their children grief and worry. Regardless, it is important to broach these difficult topics early on so there is no confusion. Before your passing, you should consider discussing any topics you feel might cause problems among your children. For example, if you decided to divide your property unequally among your children, discussing those plans and the reasoning behind them in person can help prevent arguments in the future.

Don’t Forget Caregiving Concerns

Most people will require some type of long-term care in their lives – usually when they reach an older age. It’s important to carefully disclose your plans regarding this care, including how future nursing care will be funded, and who will take over financial and medical decision making if you become incapacitated. Although it may be uncomfortable, this is a good time to discuss your wishes regarding hospice care, funeral arrangements, DNR orders or the use of other life-prolonging measures.

Schedule a Consultation with a Dedicated Estate Planning Attorney

If you are interested in beginning the estate planning process, or have questions regarding talking to your children about the terms of your will, please call 847-325-5559 to speak with one of the dedicated estate planning lawyers at Orlowsky & Wilson, Ltd. Attorneys at Law today.

Updated as of July 2019
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