Should You Discuss Your Estate Plans With Your Adult Children?

One of the thorniest issues of estate planning involves the sometimes conversations that surround the topic. Many parents want to inform their children of their estate plans but feel uncomfortable discussing them. However, discussing your estate plans with your adult children is a critical step in the process. Not only will doing so put your mind at ease, but it can also reduce the likelihood of familial disputes in the future. Two of the biggest reasons to discuss your estate plans with your adult children are discussed below.

Managing the Expectations of Your Children

It is common for adult children to assume that they will inherit all of their parents’ assets. In many cases, this assumption is correct; however, it certainly isn’t always the case. Some parents leave financial gifts to their favorite charities or other family members. For parents with multiple children, the situation becomes even more complex if they intend to divide their assets in a manner that isn’t equal from their children’s perspective. For example, if one child is married with a good job and financially secure, they may not need the assets as much as a younger child who hasn’t quite established themselves. Regardless of the specific situation, parents who discuss their estate planning intentions with their children can significantly reduce the chance of family infighting, which may lead to probate litigation.

What Is Probate Litigation and How to Avoid It

Probate is the legal process by which a judge acknowledges an individual’s death, validates their will and appoints an executor to oversee the distribution of the individual’s death. In many cases, probate goes off without a hitch; however, if one of your beneficiaries or heirs believes that they are not being treated moderately or that there was a problem with your will, they can contest the will. A will contest the probate process longer, more expensive for everyone involved, and can significantly deplete estate assets.

You can convey your intentions before death by speaking with your adult children about your estate plan. This will reduce the chance of probate litigation.

If you have questions about some of the crucial decisions, you will face in the future. An elder law attorney can help you find the answers and develop an effective plan. At the Hazen Law Group, our Harrisburg elder law attorneys provide clients with guidance in elder law, special needs law, and estate planning. Marielle Hazen, the founder of Hazen Law Group, is a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation and has been named one of the top 50 women lawyers in Pennsylvania. To learn more and schedule a consultation with one of our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys, call 717-540-4332 today.

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