Some families do not discuss money. That can cause problems when it comes to estate planning.
If you are making your estate plan, you might want to consult your children first. Here is why:
You can take their wishes into account
Have you ever gone to great lengths to get someone a present only to watch as they try to conceal their horror or disappointment when they open it? No one wins in a scenario like that, but at least you can return the item to the shop.
You can’t do that with the things you leave in your estate plan. Why leave someone a thing they might not want, especially if someone else in your family might have loved to receive it?
You can plan around their financial situation
If you have never discussed finances with your kids much, they might be afraid to tell you they are on the point of bankruptcy or a costly divorce. If you were to die tomorrow, the money you leave them might be lost to such events.
A similar thing could apply if they are doing well financially. Passing them assets at the wrong time or in the wrong way could result in them paying more tax overall. If you understand their situation, you can look for appropriate solutions to ensure as much of your estate as possible stays in their hands.
You can preempt disputes
Imagine your family gathering together at your funeral. Now imagine that some of them are not talking to each other because they have fallen out over who you left what to. Sometimes you have good reason to divide your estate unequally between your kids. Explaining why will reduce the chance that those who feel they’ve lost out suspect the others of influencing your decision.
There are a lot of variables to consider, so getting legal advice can help you prepare for discussions with your children and create a plan based on what you learn in those discussions.