The subject of death is rarely a conversation that family members want to discuss because of the emotional and mental toll that type of conversation can take.
However, discussing your estate plan with your adult children will prevent any surprises about their inheritance. It allows you to answer questions and gives your children an idea of what to expect regarding their responsibilities.
Choose the right executor
The executor of your estate is the person tasked with closing your estate after you pass away. Their responsibilities include notifying all creditors of your death, paying off debts and filing taxes for you and your estate. They must also collect and distribute all assets such as bank accounts, investments and retirement accounts. They must complete all of their duties according to the probate laws of the state. Discussing who should be the executor of your estate with your adult children will help to ensure that you choose someone capable of and willing to carry out all duties.
Choose who will make decisions for you
In addition to choosing an executor, a solid estate plan will also include a durable power of attorney and medical power of attorney. These roles empower the person of your choosing to make financial or medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated due to illness or injury. As with the executor, discussing these roles with your children will help you make sure you choose the right person to carry out each role.
When you discuss your estate plan with your children, you have the opportunity to give them all of the information they will need to carry out your wishes after your death. You can tell them where to find information about all of your assets and debts that they will need to resolve.