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What Your Adult Children Need to Know about Your Estate Plan

As a parent, if you are willing to share some of this information with your children - especially if one of them is also the executor of your estate – they will appreciate having the facts and be more prepared emotionally when the time comes. They will know your wishes ultimately anyway, and good communication will lessen any surprises ahead of time.

Why your children need to know?

  • Your child may be the administrator/executor/trustee of your estate.
  • Your trust may provide creditor or lawsuit protection for your children‟s inheritance.
  • Your children‟s retirement may be impacted by your needs (or lack of your needs).

What your children need to know?

  • If you have an estate plan, let your children know that
    • it exists (at least, where the originals are located and who drafted it);
    • it is kept current; and
    • it reflects your goals and objectives.
  • If your child is (or children are) the executor/trustee of your estate, he or she should understand his or her role and responsibilities prior to your incapacity or death.
  • If your trust provides creditor or lawsuit protection for your children‟s inheritance, then it would be helpful for your children to understand the unique aspects of such trust.
  • Let your children know about key decisions (i.e. preferred burial arrangements, organ donation, distribution of family heirlooms, etc.) that may (or may not) be reflected in your estate planning documents.

How you go about approaching your children with this information?

  • Arrange for a meeting with your attorney to explain what happens in the event of your death or incapacity (especially, when a child is the executor/trustee of your estate).
  • I provide my clients various forms to assist them in providing their children with the above information. For example, "A Checklist: What Your Family Should Know," and "Asset Worksheet."

To learn more, please Contact Me