Hi there, Bridget Mackay here. I’m an attorney in Petaluma, and I practice in the area of estate planning and elder law.
Today I want to talk about what you should tell your children about your estate plan. Most commonly, folks have trusts, but even if you have a will, what should your kids know about what’s in that will? Or, do you need to let your chosen executor or your chosen successor trustee, after both you and your spouse have passed away, what’s in your trust? Well, generally speaking in my practice, I am a fan of being as transparent as possible. So, if you have adult children who are capable of running their own lives and finances you should… And you have them as your trustees or they’re your main beneficiaries, you should let them know what your plans are. You don’t necessarily have to provide the plan, but let them know what’s going on and what to expect; it’s going to make the transition for them so much smoother.
If you’re in the other camp, where you have some challenged children and they’re not really good with their money, or you’re worried about they’re going to rely on what they may get as an inheritance and not produce themselves or live fruitful lives as a mature adult, then you might want to think twice. Often, this is a question you can pose to your estate planning attorney. So, if you need to discuss this, I would suggest finding a qualified estate planning attorney to find out exactly what’s right for you and how much information you should reveal to your beneficiaries or your trustees.