Talking to your children about estate planning is essential if you’re a parent in California. Age-appropriate conversations prepare your kids for the inevitability of death and the importance of managing finances.
Keeping it simple is best
When you approach the topic of estate planning with a child, it’s best to keep the conversation simple. Going in too heavy and talking about specifics may overwhelm them. Bringing up the topic when someone close to your family, such as a grandparent, uncle or aunt, passes away can be ideal.
Explain your estate plan
At some point, your child will be old enough to understand why having an estate plan is important. Going over the intricacies of your plan can be done at this time. Topics you may want to discuss can include the following:
- Who you’ve chosen to manage your estate after you die
- Who has power of attorney for health and financial decisions
- Beneficiary designations
- Guardianship designations
- Wills and trusts
Discussing who may look after your children if you pass away is an essential element of estate planning to address. Setting up a guardianship designation will also ensure a family member you choose looks after them.
Discuss why they should have an estate plan
If you have a young adult, they may not know the benefits of having an estate plan. When they’re in college or starting a career, it’s an excellent time to discuss the topic and why they should protect their assets if they get sick or die.
Preparing your children for the future by talking about having an estate plan can help them know what to expect if you become ill or pass away. Doing so can also emphasize why protecting their assets and health care decisions is crucial.