Telling heirs how much they stand to inherit can be a subject fraught with emotional land mines for parents … But waiting too long to discuss the issue, or avoiding the conversation altogether, is a bad idea, financial advisers say. It can cause confusion, mistrust and leave heirs unprepared to manage the family’s wealth.
There are a number of “talks” you have with your kids. We all are familiar with the infamous “the talk” – and a few others that are more easily avoided than had.
Add “the inheritance talk” to the short list of intergenerational talks too important to avoid. So, how do you prepare and execute this too-important-to-avoid chat?
To be blunt: there is no easy answer. Why? Because so much of the talk depends on what you have to leave, who is going to manage it, who is going to inherit it, and how soon are they going to get it?
The Wall Street Journal recently offered a pep-talk for estate planning parents in a recent article aptly titled, “The Inheritance Conversation. Ugh.“
One of the key reasons for this essential intergenerational communication is to prepare the inheriting generation for the attending responsibilities. One challenge, of course, is that any “inheritance” carries the risk of robbing a developing person of their work ethic.
In short, what makes you, your assets, and your heirs unique? That is what needs to be understood and communicated. The sooner you have the inheritance talk, the better it will be for all concerned.