Death is not easy. Sure, a passing that is expected is a little bit easier to swallow than one that suddenly occurs, but either way you can be left heartbroken. When financial stress around a legacy plan adds to the stress during this time, families have been broken apart when they should be holding each other close. If you are adamant that this type of situation doesn’t happen to your family, it is important to go ahead and focus on getting your surrounding family in line with your legacy plan.
When it comes to a legacy plan, having a family that is oblivious to your legacy plan can cause enormous friction down the road. Studies have shown that more than two-thirds of parents and adult children have no idea when to start focusing on the estate plan. Unfortunately, far too many families wait until a crisis hits before the discussion around legacy planning is brought up. Instead of being reactive with your estate plan, be proactive! A commitment to keeping your family in line with your legacy plan will keep everyone on the same page should any unforeseen situation occur. Issues that arise when family members are not kept in the loop on a legacy plan include:
- Unknown Outlook - Often times, adult children are way off when it comes to their expectation of the value of their parents’ estate. On average, research has shown that adult children underestimate the amount by more than $300,000.
- Parent Care - Being on the same page with parent care expectations can make things much easier down the road. A 2014 study from Fidelity Investments showed that almost half of adult children expected to care for their parents as they age, while less than 10% of parents expected their children to care for them. Early conversations around elder care can help tremendously!
- Financial Security - This same study showed that more than half of adult children feel that their parents stress over their financial security, while just a little under 25% of parents are actually concerned.
Prepare for Retirement
The end goal for most adults is retirement. Being able to retire however has become more of a rarity these days. Having discussions about retirement with your family should be a priority. Some of the greatest factors of your legacy plan should be centered around income after retirement, eldercare, and planning for long-term health care costs. Talking to your children about your plans for retirement should not be overlooked. Seeking a trusted legacy-planning advisor may be the best decision you could make for the health of your future. The expert advice and guidance around your legacy plan from an advisor can make these family conversations easier.
If this article has you starting to think about your own legacy planning, get in touch with my office at email@example.com. I always enjoy meeting with people who have started to figure out their retirement plans. Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.