One of the saddest things you can see is a family squabbling over money left to them. There is no way you can guarantee your loved ones will not do the same when you die, but you can take steps to minimize the chance they do.
Inheritance is a taboo subject in some families. Children may feel it is better not to mention it, lest their parents think they are scheming to get their money. Parents might consider how much they own and what they intend to do with it is no one’s business but their own. Yet, there is no way to predict when you will die, and there are several good reasons not to keep things a secret.
Talking about your estate plan is crucial
Discussing your estate planning intentions allows two things:
- It lets you discover each person’s preferences: For instance, your daughter may secretly hope you leave her the run-down coastal shack. She dreams of renovating it and raising a family there. Yet, she has never told you for fear of seeming impolite. Your son has no such fondness for it. If you leave it to him, he will raze it to the ground and sell it to developers. You can only find these things out through honest discussion.
- Discussing your intentions now lets you explain your reasoning: If someone considers your estate plan unfair, they might contest it. If you take time now to explain why you plan to leave them less than their sibling, they are more likely to understand and accept your wishes.
The other reason to talk to people you intend to leave things to is because inheriting assets may affect their taxes. Finding out more together can help you make an estate plan that leaves everyone content.