Discussing Your Estate Plan with Your Children

Sep 28, 2018 9:30:00 AM The MacMillan Estate Planning Team Estate Planning, family estate planning, family inheritance


Managing an estate is an often delicate process. It requires ongoing communication between various members of the family, and depending on the circumstances, this can be quite challenging. For instance, how do you properly communicate with your children about your estate?

Why It’s Important

It’s not easy to broach the subject of your mortality with your children, and you may also be apprehensive to address the specifics of inheritance. It’s understandable to suspect that if your children know a significant sum awaits them in the future, their work ethic and financial responsibility will suffer in the present. Despite this, discussing your estate with your children to one extent or another can be a core part of developing and carrying out an effective plan. It’s your right to determine the extent to which you divulge information and the way in which you do it, but there are a number of things to keep in mind when making these decisions.

Assessing Your Circumstances

First and foremost, it’s helpful to take stock of the circumstances that shape how the discussions will go. For instance, are your children minors or adults? It is often wise to wait until the latter is the case. Even then, are your adult children single or married? Some parents may feel comfortable including their children’s spouses in the discussions, while for others this is out of the question. Will you be leaving a business behind? It will be necessary to discuss who is the best fit to take the wheel. Do you intend to designate one of your children as the executor of your estate? This requires careful consideration and open dialogue as well.

To Tell or Not to Tell?

One of the most common concerns, as mentioned above, is the effects of telling your children what they stand to inherit. It is possible, however, to convey the broader essentials of the matter without getting into the exact numbers and inventory of what will be left to whom. After all, you may not have even decided this yet. As a starting point, consider pieces of information that are practically necessary, such as those regarding attorneys or other professionals they will need to contact when the time comes. It all depends on the unique personal dynamic of your family, so the help of a professional estate planning team may be just what you need.

At MacMillan Estate Planning, we don’t simply apply our estate planning expertise to assist you on a technical level. We are devoted to fostering an experience that helps you feel truly cared for as both a client and a human being. Call 1-833-266-6464 to begin this experience today.

At MacMillan Estate Planning, our team of professional trust and estate practitioners, chartered accountants, financial planners, and legal professionals look forward to assisting you with the design of your estate plan and will ensure you build, protect, and enjoy your wealth. The information provided is general and may not be suited to your objectives or sufficient to ensure the protection of you and your family. You should not act on this information without providing MacMillan Estate Planning with the opportunity to ensure that it is suitable for your unique situation.

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