The Importance of Will Planning
In many families, money is not a typical dinner table discussion. Surprisingly, this is especially true when it comes to affluent parents. We hope to change the conversation because one of the most important things you can do is talk to your kids (and your parents) about money. With so much at stake, will planning is a crucial task that should not be neglected.
Let the Numbers Do the Talking
According to the Spectrem Millionaire Corner, a market research group, only 17% of affluent parents said they would disclose their income or net worth to their kids by the time they turned 18. A nearly equal amount, 18% said they would never disclose these numbers to their kids. 32% of the affluent parents surveyed by Spectrem said “it’s none of their business” when asked why they would not talk to their kids about money.
But, that’s just faulty thinking, wouldn’t you agree?! We hope so!
The amount of money generated by your family, and what will happen to it when you or your parents become incapacitated or die is definitely your business. With assets at risk, will planning becomes more crucial in affluent families? And, whether your parents talk with you about it now, or you figure it all out after they die, your parents’ money has a huge impact on you.
And, of course, your money has a huge impact on your kids.
Obstacles to the Money Talk
It is possible that your parents have already begun the will planning process. However, if your parents are not talking to you about money, it could be because they are afraid. Perhaps they think that if you know how much money there is, it will make you lazy, unmotivated, or change the course of your life decisions in a negative manner. Maybe you have the same fears of talking about money with your own kids.
Perhaps, consider that when money has come up in the past, you behaved immaturely, and that caused your parents not to trust you. But, you can change that now. Consider the possibility that your parents would love it if they saw evidence of your maturity in this arena.
If you are a parent yourself, you probably already know, or can imagine, that the most important wish you have for your children is that they learn to handle money, and that you want to influence them in the most positive way possible, when it comes to money.
No matter what the history is, there are many reasons why your parents may not want to discuss their wealth with you or their will planning efforts. By acknowledging these concerns, you cultivate a much better understanding to bring to the discussion when you broach the topic.
How to Have the Money Talk
The truth is, that whether you know the exact amount or not, you have a general sense of your family’s affluence and it’s already impacted your decisions in a myriad of ways. Lexern Law Group believes that the best way for your family’s money to impact your decisions in a positive manner is to open conversation about it all.
We all have to learn about our family’s money eventually. And if that doesn’t happen until after our parents die, it can be a much bigger burden to deal with, and we can lose tremendous opportunities for passing on more than just money.
If you are a child of affluent parents who is not talking to you about money, consider that your job is to learn to communicate with your parents. Find a way that instills trust in you and the decisions you will make if you know just how much there is.
Consider how you would want your children to approach you to have the money or will planning conversation, and how you can do exactly that with your parents.
The True Value of Will Planning
As an affluent parent, or the child of affluent parents, getting into a conversation about money or will planning now is a huge opportunity to pass on values, insights, stories, and experience that will be lost, if you wait until incapacity or death to start facing the truth together.
Helping you talk to your kids (or your parents) about money is one of the things we most love to do because we see it as a real opportunity for your family to come together. With Lexern Law Group’s will planning assistance, you can use your whole family wealth to create more connections from one generation to the next. If you need help having the money talk with your parents, your children, or have general will planning questions, contact us today.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as a general summary of the issues outlined therein. While this article may include general guidance, it is not intended as, nor is it a substitute for, a qualified legal advice. Your review or receipt of this article from Lexern Law Group, Ltd. (the “LLG”) or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the LLG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors of the article and does not reflect the opinion of the LLG.
This article is a service of Lexern Law Group, Ltd. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Family Wealth Planning Session, ™ during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love.
You can begin by calling our office today to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.