No one likes to feel uncomfortable. It can be difficult to know how to broach the subject of inheritance with your children. You may be worried about their reaction or feel like it’s a taboo topic. However, it’s important to have a conversation about your plans so that your children are prepared for their future. As parents, we are typically focused on our children’s health and mental well-being. Preparing them to have a balanced outlook on their financial wellness is equally important.
Talk, Talk and Talk Some More
Start by planting the seed of why having this conversation is important to you. While the holidays are not the time to dive in deep, they can be a good time to casually discuss your desire to take the conversation further. Then pick the right time and place when you’re relaxed and won’t be interrupted. Be prepared for complete transparency and be honest and open about what’s most important to you now and in the future.
Once you’ve expressed your point of view, listen to your family’s concerns. It’s important to give your children a chance to express their feelings about receiving an inheritance. This will help you understand their point of view and address any concerns they may have about the responsibility of carrying out your legacy.
Whether you want your children to be part of the legacy planning process or would rather present them with a pre-planned roadmap, this isn’t a one-and-done conversation. Just as with any financial plan, revisiting and reaffirming your plan on an annual basis keeps everyone on the same page even when circumstances change.
Next-Gen Wealth Plans
What are the steps in creating a legacy plan for the next generation? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer but here are a few key steps to consider:
Create or update your will and beneficiaries. This is an important first step in any wealth transfer plan. You’ll want to make sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that the right people are named as beneficiaries.
Consider using trusts. A trust can be a helpful tool for managing wealth and distributing assets to loved ones. Trusts can offer flexibility and control over how and when assets are distributed. They can also help minimize taxes and provide asset protection.
Gift now, not just at death. Many people wait until they die to gift their assets but there are advantages to gifting during your lifetime. For example, you can see the joy that your gift brings to your loved ones and you may be able to take advantage of tax-efficient strategies.
Think about how you want to be remembered. A wealth transfer plan is an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy. What values do you want to pass on to the next generation? What kind of impact do you want to make in the world? Do you have specific charitable intent that you envision?
The decisions you make today will shape your legacy for years to come. If you’d like to talk about starting the conversation with the next generation, let us know. We’d be happy to help you start the conversation. In Part 2 of our Inheritance Series, we’ll discuss why tax planning for wealth transfers should be planned today for your family’s tomorrow.
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