No matter what your income level, it is important to have a proper will in place. The document can ensure that your final wishes are followed and that your loved ones will be taken care of. However, talking about your will with your adult children can seem quite awkward. You may worry about offending someone and starting an argument. However, you do not want to leave any surprises for your children. Our friends at Carpenter & Lewis PLLC explain that even if it is uncomfortable at first, you should have a conversation about your estate with your children soon.
Here are some tips for talking to your adult children about your will.
Create a Plan
In order for the discussion to flow smoothly, it is a good idea to plan ahead of time. First, determine if you would rather talk to each of your children separately or have a group discussion. If all of your children get along, for example, it may not be a bad idea to talk to them in a group.
Then, write down the topics you want to discuss in a notebook so that you do not forget anything. It may also be a good idea to determine what your goals and objectives are for the meeting. If you think that the discussion might get heated, you should consider having a trained mediator sit in. He or she may be able to keep the conversation on track.
Choose the Right Setting
When discussing a sensitive topic like your will, you should do it in the right place. It is probably not a good idea to have the discussion in a loud and public area where other people can hear what you are talking about. To make everyone feel more comfortable, have the discussion in a private place, like your home.
Speak in a Calm Voice
The tone of your voice is also something you have to consider for this conversation. Be sure to use a calm voice when discussing your will to make everyone feel at ease. If your children see that you are calm, they may be less likely to get riled up during the conversation.
Explain Your Decisions
To avoid surprises in the future, a wills lawyer may advise you to take the time to explain your decisions to your children. For instance, if you decided to give a larger inheritance to one child because he or she is not as financially successful as your other children, talk about that during the meeting. If your children know the reasons behind your decisions, they may be more understanding.
After you are done speaking, open the floor up for questions. It is likely that your children will have at least a few questions about your will. Take plenty of time to address all of their questions and don’t get upset if they don’t agree with you about something.
If you need help drafting your will, you should get in touch with a wills attorney soon.