What should I tell my children about my estate plan?
This is a question I get all the time. Parents want to know whether they should tell their adult children about their estate planning. They are usually especially concerned when one child gets more than the others, or one child is made Executor, Trustee, attorney in fact, etc. and the other children aren’t. Parents are also usually concerned about what to tell their children about their financial situation – should they tell their children what kind of inheritance they can expect?
Those are all good questions, and I usually advise my clients to share whatever they feel comfortable with. If you want to tell your children that Sally gets everything and Bobby gets nothing, go ahead, just be prepared for the consequences. Many families that I meet say they don’t like talking about their estate planning at all, but at a minimum there are a few things you should communicate:
- Where your documents are. You should let your children know where your important documents are. With those documents, you should keep a list of your assets, debts, funeral wishes, and anything else they need to know.
- Who will be the Executor of your estate. If one of your child will be the Executor of your estate, let him or her know that, as well as where the documents are stored.
- Your wishes concerning your Advance Directive for Healthcare. Let your children know your feelings about life support and what you want to have happen if you’re in a terminal condition or a tragic accident. Also, let them know the location of your Advance Directive for Healthcare.
Although these things are not fun to think about, discussions about them now can save a lot of heartache later. If you need further advice on communicating with your family members about your will, power of attorney, or Advance Healthcare Directive, call Marietta estate planning attorney Sarah White at 678-453-6490 or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will be happy to walk you through these issues over the phone. Call her today.