Whether you are making out a will, or need a more elaborate estate plan, chances are if you have adult children they will have their own opinion about what you should do with your money both while you are still here, as well as after you are gone. If you have multiple children, there is a good chance that they may disagree with whatever you choose to do, and may even fight amongst themselves after you are gone, putting your estate into probate, rather than where you want it to go.
Financial and investment service powerhouse, the Motley Fool has a few suggestions on options for avoiding probate, including setting up a living trust, setting up joint ownership of property, and making accounts payable on death. While these are good place to start for many, it is important to acknowledge that there is not a “one size fits all” way to handle your estate plan.
Determining Your Values and Priorities
While some assume an inheritance will be divided equally among heirs, it is important to remember that the exact division of your estate is ultimately up to you. That’s why it is important to sit down with someone neutral to talk about whether you want a pure mathematical split, or if you want to give a struggling family member more, or save some for a grandchild, or even give to a charity.
At Fisher & Wilsey, P.A, Attorneys and Counselors at Law we have decades of experience in estate planning as well as probate administration and can work with you to draft an estate plan that reflects your own immediate best interests, as well as the best interests of your family and the causes that are important to you.
Communicating With Adult Children About Your Estate Plan
Once you have a general idea of what you want your estate plan to look like, it is a good idea to communicate your wishes to your adult children. Depending on the particulars of your relationship, communicating your exact reasons for making those decisions is up to you. If possible, get as many of the people who will be affected by your estate plan together as possible in order to minimize questions that may arise later on regarding whether or not the plans you made were intentional, or if you “forgot” someone.
While getting together to talk about a time when you will no longer be around may seem awkward at first, having a plan together, and knowing that your adult children understand and accept your plans can go a long way towards assuring your own peace of mind as you carry on for the rest of your days.