However, life often presents unique circumstances and events they can make parents want to rethink the idea that they must leave their children equal sums of money, property or other possessions.
This article addresses some the reasons parents may want to be fairly open with their children about what they may inherit. Obviously, the ages of your children are quite pertinent to what you decide to share with them – and you may want to update what you tell them as they grow older. (Note: Some of the following points were first put forth in a recent Forbes article published online).
Facts You May Want to Share With Your Children Regarding the Contents of Your Will
- Why you've chosen a specific adult child to act as your personal representative (or executor). You can just be open about the fact that this child may be the one who lives nearest you, isn’t currently busy raising kids or has simply volunteered to serve as your main caregiver. Should a family business be involved, try to leave open what roles one or more children may want to assume in the company once they grow older;
- What you plan to do if you own extensive property. Try to be sensitive to the fact that one adult child may have a stronger need or desire to keep certain property within the family. Openly discuss the possibility that one child may want to buy out the others’ shares one day if some would prefer to just sell the property. If serious disagreements are already on the horizon – consider changing how you plan to divide up the property between the children;
- Why one child who has profound physical or mental disabilities must be given the largest sum of money to provide for his/her care in the future. Be sure to explain that this particular child may never be able to complete high school or develop enough daily living skills to even partially support himself/herself during the coming years. You can also use this time to urge all of your children to keep a watchful eye on this particular child throughout their lives. (If your children are adults, you may even want to inquire if one of them might be willing to serve as the backup guardian for this child – listed right after you and your husband in the legal guardianship documents);
These are just a few of the many topics that you and your husband and extended family may decide to share with your children about your wills. Should you discover that some children are already experiencing hurt feelings about what you’ve shared, be sure to spend time alone with each child to answer all questions and make sure that they each feel fully loved and appreciated. Also let them know that as more time goes by, should it be necessary to alter your will to any great extent, you will probably schedule additional family meetings concerning your will.
Of course, should you notice the presence of any major disharmony, you can always play all future discussions by ear – perhaps leaving out the most precise details – and just reminding all of them that you love them all equally and intend to provide properly for each of them.
To obtain help with satisfying all of your Georgia estate planning needs, please contact Shane Smith Law today. You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.