If you first made an estate plan when your kids were little, you likely never considered sharing the details of it with them. Now that they have grown up and left home, you might wonder whether you should.
It becomes more important to do so with every passing day because the older you get, the more likely you are to need to use it. If you fall ill, you might need one of them to fulfill the role of health care power of attorney. Making clear who that person will be can avoid squabbling over treatment choices.
Or it might come into play because you pass away. In either case, it will be easier for your family if they know what to expect in advance.
1. Prior warning allows your family to plan
If your son is going through a difficult stage in his marriage, and you tell him you intend to gift him money while still alive, he might ask you to double-check whether his spouse could take any of it if they divorce.
If your daughter knows you intend to leave her the house, she might continue renting rather than incur a hefty mortgage on a new place.
2. It can also reduce the potential for conflict
Explaining to your son why you will be leaving the house to his sister reduces the chance he will get upset with her about it when you pass away. If you explain why you made that choice, it prevents him from having to draw his own conclusions – which he might do if you never discussed it with him.
If you have things you are not sure about, get legal help to clarify them so you can explain your estate planning choices to your family.