Estate planning is a subject matter that most people prefer not to think about, much less discuss in depth with their children. Avoiding the topic, however, could leave you and your adult children seriously disconnected on important topics.
As you and your children age, they will likely begin to worry about you. They will probably worry about whether or not you are financially secure enough to live comfortably during your golden years. They may also be concerned about what your wishes are in the event you become incapacitated or terminally ill. Without guidance from you, your children will continue to worry about these things and will reach their own conclusions. Those conclusions could be seriously off the mark.
Your child, for instance, could be socking away money to take care of you when you are older when, in fact, that will not be necessary. On the other hand, your child could be under the impression that he or she will be inheriting a large sum of money that is not forthcoming. Either way, your child is making financial plans based on inaccurate information or conjecture.
By the same token, your child may think that he or she knows how you would want situations such as a terminal illness to be handled, but maybe he or she is wrong. The only way your child can really know what your wishes are is if you tell him or her.
Taking about finances, estate planning and illness with your children is not easy, but it could save a considerable amount of confusion and misunderstandings down the road.