03 Feb When is it Time to Have THE Talk with Your Kids?
Many people come in to our offices this time of year to create Living Trusts. We include two other end-of-life documents in the Living Trust package–a Financial Power of Attorney and an Advance HealthCare Directive, naming someone to act on their behalf in the event they become unable to make decisions about their care or manage their own affairs.
Preparing your kids–in case something happens to you
There are many things to be thinking about as you prepare your Living Trust and other documents, including talking to your kids about them. They should know who has been named the Successor Trustee, who is the backup and which child will be the Financial Power of Attorney—and why. These roles require a significant commitment, so it’s important that whoever is chosen understands, is capable and willing to assume these responsibilities.
You should tell your family where to find all of your legal documents as well as provide the name and contact information for your medical providers, accountant, insurance agent and financial adviser. There well may be other people who are an important part of your support system, and your children should have the contact information for these people. It’s a good idea to make a list of all of your medications and the login information for your online accounts. Give some serious thought to what your kids would need to know if you were in an accident or incapacitated, and make this information available to them.
How much should your kids know about your net worth?
Being honest about your finances with your children may be a difficult conversation, but it’s an important one. They shouldn’t be counting on an inheritance that doesn’t exist. If your assets get depleted for whatever reason—a bad investment, incapacitating illness, etc., knowing that you may not have enough income and savings to last and letting the kids know that they may have to help is being forthcoming and honest—and will help them plan their own lives.
If this is the year you’ve committed to preparing your Living Trust, come in to one of our California Document Preparers offices to get started. Our workbooks make it easy, and our team is here to help.