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Initiating the Inheritance Conversation with Your Children

Daryll Pomey Orat - Tuesday, September 02, 2014

For many families, it is a topic that is very often postponed until the very last minute. As a result, when heirs finally sit down for the reading of the will, they find nasty surprises in the will that they were simply not prepared for. Many surprises and sibling disputes can be prevented, simply by discussing inheritance with the children.

If you are a baby boomer, the time to have that inheritance conversation with your children is as soon as possible. Granted, these are uncomfortable issues to talk about. Talking about money and division of assets often translates into a conversation about your mortality, which can be comfortable not just for the parents but also for the heirs. In many cases, finding the right time can be a challenge.

If having that conversation about inheritance is not urgent, and you're not suffering from any serious health issues, wait until the children have established themselves reasonably financially. It's important not to let children begin thinking that they don't need to find their own way in life, because their parents are going to leave them a substantial inheritance.

Before you talk with your children about their inheritance, talk with an estate planning lawyer in Los Angeles. It helps to have some accurate figures in hand about what your estate is likely to look like around the time of your passing.

It's also important to be very conservative when you tell your children what you’re going to leave them. It's best to play safe, and give them an amount that is much lower than what you will probably leave. You really don't want the children to make major plans depending on a large inheritance, and be disappointed later because the inheritance amount was much lower than their expectations.

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