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6 Reasons to Include Your Children in Estate Planning

6 Reasons to Include Your Children in Estate Planning

February 25, 2024

As people transition into the later stages of their lives, their thoughts inevitably turn toward the complicated matters to be addressed upon their death. Having an Estate Plan in place can significantly ease the burden of those complex matters for those you leave behind. Estate planning usually involves the distribution and preservation of assets once you pass away and helps ensure that the wealth you've accumulated throughout your lifetime is shared according to your wishes. 

An essential consideration in this process is whether or not to include adult children in the estate planning process. Although it might automatically be assumed that adult children would be included, that's not always the case for some families. Here are six reasons to include your adult children in estate planning.

#1- To promote transparency.
One of the main reasons to include your children in estate planning is to promote transparency. Keeping them well-informed mitigates the chance of misunderstandings, particularly when emotions are likely running high following your passing. For example, family tensions could escalate if one sibling is left a more significant portion of the wealth without any prior indication or explanation. Toward this end, involving your children gives them a greater understanding of your decisions and a chance to voice any concerns or confusion while you are still around.

#2- To emphasize the importance of estate planning.
Another reason to include your children is that it emphasizes the importance of estate planning to them. As they participate in the process and familiarize themselves with the practice, they'll be better prepared when it is time for them to make similar arrangements for their children. Estate planning can instill a strong sense of fiscal responsibility, ensuring that your legacy will likely be responsibly managed and maintained for future generations.

#3- To understand your financial situation.
Including your children in estate planning helps them understand your financial status and assets clearly. By sharing information about your property, financial accounts, and responsibilities, your children can help identify any investments, accounts, or assets you may have overlooked. Information sharing helps prevent specific assets from being left out of the estate plan, safeguarding your family's wealth.

#4- To expand diverse perspectives.
Your children may offer a knowledge or experience perspective and provide helpful feedback during planning. For example, they might suggest modern estate planning strategies you're unfamiliar with, or ways to utilize digital investment strategies that could enhance the family's access to information.

#5- To discuss intangible assets.
As a parent, including your children in estate planning is beneficial because it provides a golden opportunity for discussing family values, beliefs, and traditions. Passing on intangible assets like your ethnicity, values, life lessons, and dreams for your family's future is as important as distributing tangible assets.

#6- To prepare your children for your absence.
Lastly, involving your children helps prepare them for the inevitable emotional challenges of your passing. The passing of a loved one is a difficult time, and unforeseen disputes or complications relating to estate matters can heighten emotional distress. Early involvement can mitigate these challenges by ensuring everyone thoroughly understands the estate plan. Plus, it's vital to emotionally prepare your loved ones for the realities of estate administration after your passing.

In conclusion, including your children in estate planning isn't just beneficial; it's crucial. When you address estate planning together, it promotes transparency, mitigates confusion, helps sustain your legacy, and preserves financial independence. We'd love to include your children in future financial discussions if you'd like to do so; just provide us with their contact information. If there are other ways we can help, let us know!

 

Courtesy of Fresh Finance.