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Tips for talking to your adult children about their inheritance

As you create an estate plan, you'll spend a lot of time thinking about what will happen to your assets upon your death. Like many, you may have plans of leaving your assets to your adult children.

You're not required to talk to your adult children about their inheritance, but it's often a good decision to do so. This ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Here are some tips that can ease the stress that's typically associated with this conversation:

  • Make note of how much each child is receiving: If all your children are receiving an equal amount, you don't have much to worry about here. However, if one child is receiving more, explain why this is the case. For instance, you may want to leave more to a child with special needs.
  • Keep it short, concise and calm: You don't have to go into too many details during this conversation. Instead, share the important details concisely, all while remaining calm. This isn't a time for anyone to get upset.
  • Give everyone a chance to speak: You hope it doesn't happen, but someone could become angry, upset or defensive. When everyone has a chance to speak, it's easier to work through any issues that come to light.

It's never easy to talk to your adult children about their inheritance. Even if every child is grateful, you never know what could go wrong.

Before you have this conversation, be sure that your estate plan is complete and that you understand the legal ramifications of the decisions you've made.

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