Talking to your grown children about estate planning is one of the best things you can do to help them prepare for the future and protect their financial assets. So get the conversation started with these tips.
Proceed with Caution
Before offering your adult children advice on estate planning, ensure they are open to receiving it. For example, have they already hired an estate planner? Are they going through a season of life where this is too much to consider?
Gently broach the topic to see if this is something they'd like your support with before proceeding.
Help Them Make a Will
A final Will is the backbone of their estate plan. Therefore, the written instructions of their wishes should cover essential information such as:
- Beneficiary designations. Naming beneficiaries and allocating a portion of assets to each makes one's wishes clear and reduces survivors' stress when trying to access their inheritances.
- Guardianship. If your son or daughter has minor children (or pets), the Will should state who should assume guardianship if the parent passes.
- Executor. Your child will designate an executor who will manage the estate, distribute the funds to the beneficiaries, and oversee the disposition of assets. If no executor is named, the probate court takes control of the estate and oversees the probate process.
- Powers of attorney. Choosing a financial and medical power of attorney and a durable power of attorney ensures there is a trustworthy person who will make decisions for your child if they can't do so themselves.
Generational wealth can help survivors cover their future expenses, but tax considerations should be reviewed during estate planning. Encourage your children to speak to a financial services firm to get tax advice for their particular situations.
Get Their Legal Documents in Order
All important documents should be kept in a secure location. Your child should tell you or another trusted adult where to find them. A safe deposit box at a bank or a fireproof safe at home will protect documents in the event of a fire or flood. Note that unless someone is named as a co-owner of a safe deposit box, they may not be able to access it right away—or ever—even if they are the executor.
These documents should include:
- Life insurance policies
- Details for all bank accounts
- Records of real estate purchases and financial holdings, including stocks and bonds
- Vehicle ownership papers
- Contact information for their financial advisor, mortgage broker, lawyers, and insurance agents
- Their Will, or a statement indicating the location of the most current version
- Login information for any accounts that need closing
- Significant numbers like their social security number, driver's license, and passport
Help Your Kids Start Estate Planning Today
It's never too early to start planning for the future. So help your kids find peace of mind by having them contact us today so we can walk them through their estate planning.