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Estate Planning - Part 2: Discussing estate planning with your child(ren)

Estate Planning - Part 2: Discussing estate planning with your child(ren)

October 04, 2021
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In our first post, we focused on the discussion between you and your parents but unlike a discussion between you and your parent(s), the discussion between you and your child(ren) should focus on your desires and plans.  When communicating with your kid(s), focus on how your love for your children is why you are putting plans in place now so that they do not have to make decisions later. Be clear about your desires during the conversation and be open to hearing their feelings, concerns, and questions while also standing firm about what you want. As outlined in Part 1: Discussing estate planning with parents, here are the 7 steps when preparing to have a discussion with your kids.

Step 1: Prioritize your goals for having the discussion 

Step 2: Map out a vision and preferences for end-of-life care and how care will be managed

Step 3: Identify all of your assets and liabilities 

Step 4: Discuss guardianships, executorships, and trustee responsibilities

Step 5: Plan for the impact of taxes

Step 6: Communicate your wishes to your family

Step 7: Set the stage for the discussion

Schedule time with your child(ren) for a family meeting, dinner, or lunch as a means to gather the family in a relaxed environment.  The flip side of the child parent dynamic is the parent child dynamic.  This relationship depends a lot on the age of the child(ren).  For school age children, having this discussion is less about explaining roles and responsibilities and is more about letting them know they are loved and will always be cared for as they age.  When talking to adult children about your own mortality the key is to focus on your wishes and being straightforward about your plans.  Here are a few dynamics to consider in the parent child dynamic…

  • Not wanting to be a burden on your own children (especially if care was required for your parents
  • Children not wanting to discuss your mortality because they cannot emotionally process or consider you not being in their lives
  • The maturity of your children and are they able and willing to fulfill the requirements of an executor or trustee
  • Your desires for things such as…
    • How your assets are divided
    • How you want to spend your final days and the levels of care you want
    • Who you have named as trustee/executor(executrix) 
  • The location of key documents and a list of key contacts

While having these discussions can be very difficult it can also be very empowering for your family. Use the Estate Planning Guide to help you get organized.  If you would like help in facilitating these discussions then we are here as a resource for you and your family. Use this link to schedule a consultation today!

Estate Planning Guide

Estate Planning Discussion Aid

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