For most estate plans to go well, it is important that parents talk to their adult children about the family finances. While many parents claim that they do, the children say that they do not.
Estate plans often have many complicated pieces, since they reflect the complicated nature of people's finances. Those who are not financial experts, often have problems dealing with the complexity of handling an estate, if they have not been told beforehand what they will be dealing with and how to handle it.
For this reason, estate planning attorneys normally advise their clients to have an in-depth conversation with their children about their finances. If the children are going to be called upon to act as a power of attorney in the event of incapacity or to administer any portion of the estate, then they need to know what to do before they need to do it.
Forbes reports that those conversations may not be happening nearly enough in "The Last Taboo: Your Parents Still Won't Talk About Their Money With You."
A total of 70% of parents report that they have had detailed conversations with their children. However, only 50% of their children report that those conversations have actually taken place.
What this suggests is that while parents might be giving what they think are detailed explanations about their finances, the children still have questions that should be answered.
It is important not to assume that your children know what they are supposed to do from a brief overview. Invite them to ask questions and answer any that they have.
Reference: Forbes (Jan. 31, 2017) "The Last Taboo: Your Parents Still Won't Talk About Their Money With You."