Most parents leave their assets to their children. Whether you intend to do that or not, it is what most people expect, so it is worth discussing things with them either way.
Here are some of the advantages of such conversations:
They can put in any special requests
Whether it’s, “Mom, is there any chance I could have that amethyst necklace when you die?” Or, “Mom, if you leave me that set of antique crockery from Grandma Rose in your will, I am taking it straight to the thrift store.” Hearing your children’s likes and dislikes can help you put your assets to good use and reduce the chance you leave anyone feeling uncomfortable because they dare not throw away something they inherited but hate.
They can plan ahead
Maybe your child has seen a house they would love, but it’s a little out of their price range. If they know they have a certain amount of money coming up in the future, it may allow them to proceed safely in the knowledge that they have that financial buffer coming up. Remember, you don’t need to wait until you die to pass on assets either. Sometimes it is beneficial to gift or transfer assets earlier.
It can help them to understand your choices
Imagine you die suddenly. Maybe one of your children in particular takes it very hard. Then, a few days later, they discover that you left them nothing in your will. That extra shock could make things even harder for them. It might lead to them jumping to wild conclusions about your reasons.
If instead, you explain your decision while you are alive, you give them the chance to process it, and if they wish, to question it, rather than never having a chance to find out the real answer.
You can expect your children to have questions when you discuss your estate plan with them. Seeking legal guidance to learn more can prepare you to answer them.