Why You Must Discuss Estate Planning with Your Children

Feb 25, 2021

Baby boomers typically don’t like discussing money with their children. However, it is a conversation that both generations sorely need—according to Cerulli Associates, approximately $68 trillion will move between generations in the next 25 years. Openness and transparency among parents and children will make the transfer smoother.

With U.S. debt levels at more than $27 trillion, or $84,000 for every person in the country, there will likely be changes to the estate tax laws to increase transfer taxes. As such, staying on top of estate plans is all the more critical. The best finance blogs would tell you that today, estate planning is necessary, not optional. If you’re planning for retirement or have recently retired, here are more reasons why you should consider talking about estate planning to your children.

Estate Planning Lets You Transfer Assets the Way You Want

When people create an estate plan, they usually name a child as their trustee or executor. However, they don’t always discuss what the role involves. One way to start with estate planning is to ask your children if they are willing to act as the power of attorney, trustee, or executor. Some of the critical responsibilities should be in the estate documents when they get turned over to your child, but these would not provide all the details. Sitting down with your children, getting them involved in the process, and having their buy-in will make things easier down the road.

For instance, you could add their name to the safety deposit box or share information about valuables you have in safes. You could also share details like the titling of accounts you have with financial institutions and ensuring continuity in bill payment. It is common for insurance policyholders to forget about bills or lose track of investments. If your children have a working understanding of your financial situation, they can act as a fiduciary for you and protect your wishes and estate.

Estate Planning Minimizes Unnecessary Expenses

It is vital to explain what you own, the types of accounts you have, and how to treat them from a tax perspective. Many adult children are unfamiliar with the issues that wealthy retirees must handle. If you’re a successful black entrepreneur, you probably know or have Roth IRAs, nonqualified accounts, and other things your adult child might not have experience handling.

So, it would benefit them eventually if you explain tax-free distributions or other safeguards for your hard-earned savings. For example, many people don’t know that withdrawing $100,000 from a Roth IRA is tax-free, something that might matter to your estate in the future.

Estate Planning Lets You Show You Care

A person’s attitudes towards money speak volumes about their values. Discussing your estate plan with your successors will allow you to connect with your loved ones, and sharing what money means to you with your children will guide them in honoring your memory.

For example, they will be more grateful for a life insurance policy if you tell them you want it to fund milestone expenses for your grandchildren. Imagine your adult child sitting down with your grandchildren and explaining that their grandparents treasured them so much that they set aside a part of their resources to give to them. Estate planning will also make being your executor or trustee more meaningful to your child.


There are various reasons why you might want to discuss estate planning with your children. Although it isn’t an easy conversation to have, it is necessary, especially in light of the economic and public health upheavals that the pandemic has brought. Procrastinating your estate planning is no longer an option today—speak with a specialist or read personal finance blogs to start.

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