There are different types of strategies to help make your children more responsible, but while teaching them about will and inheritances isn’t a common or talked about matter, it can still be beneficial.
But determining when to teach your child or children about what a will is, together with its function, can be a tremendously difficult thing to do. That said, however, if you plan to leave a will to your children, it is vitally important that they at least have a chance to understand what your will does. Consider the following when discussing your will with your children:
When is the Right Time?
Unfortunately, there is no precise “right time” to discuss your will with your children. When or how to approach this subject is a somewhat subjective matter. Ultimately, you need to do what is best for your family according to your judgment. Keep in mind, however, that the reason for this discussion is to prepare your children for the worst case scenario. Make the conversation happen sooner, rather than later.
The Emotional Aspect
Death is a difficult concept to bring up, the concept “of not being there” anymore is something you might struggle to explain with your child, but it’s something you’re going to have to do regardless of wills and inheritances. Talking to them about it is doable though, and there are many ways to do so. It’s entirely possible that your children may become emotional when this topic comes up. Do your best to digest your child’s thoughts and fears, then offer words of comfort. Remind your child or children that the reason for your discussing the will is entirely a matter of precaution.
Don’t Forget to Discuss the Critical Logistics
Be careful not to lose focus.The concept of estate planning in its entirety may be a bit beyond their grasp, but they should know the basics of what to expect, such as what legal expert to speak to when the time comes to claim it, if your current state will collect taxes on their inheritance, whether they’ll owe federal or state estate taxes, if they’re going to be worrying about income taxes if it’s a 401(k) or IRA inheritance. But don’t go too much into the numbers part, as you still want your children to develop financially in the healthiest ways. Just leave them with the expectation of it, instructions on how to access it, and any additional information on what they should do with it.
Contrary to popular belief, estate planning is not just for the wealthy. Ensuring that your will, power of attorney, and estate are all legally in order, you can go on living your life knowing that your loved ones will be properly taken care of. Often the amount of capital to be inherited is much greater than the child or children have ever dealt with, so they will need as much guidance as you can give.
Tags: financial responsibility, teaching children