Five tips for talking to your kids about your will


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When it comes to financial planning, securing the future for our loved ones, and communicating your intentions with the next generation, is often overlooked.

Effective communication about estate planning strategies is essential to ensure that your family understands the structures of asset ownership, the intricacies of your estate plan, and the process of wealth transition.

By engaging in open conversation on this subject, you will provide your children with a roadmap to navigate the responsibilities and complexities they may encounter in the future.

how to talk to your kids about your will

Why you should take a holistic approach to estate planning

When putting together an estate plan, it's best to have a holistic approach. Where possible, you should involve relevant family members in the planning process.

This will empower the next generation with an understanding of what they will one day inherit. This collaborative approach ensures that any financial advice is tailored to your family's circumstances, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility.

Mutual understanding between generations is the absolute key to managing expectations and avoiding the potential for family disputes.

When intentions, beliefs, and family values underpinning wealth structures are effectively communicated, wealth preservation becomes not just a financial endeavour, but a reflection of shared values and aspirations.

Put simply, effective communication of intentions with your children is not just a matter of financial prudence, but a fundamental aspect of securing the legacy you wish to leave behind.

How to talk to your loved ones about estate planning

1. Start early

Initiate conversations about estate planning sooner rather than later to allow ample time for understanding and adjustment.

2. Be transparent

Share the details of your estate plan openly, including asset ownership structures and wealth transition processes.

3. Involve the next generation

Encourage participation from your children in the planning process to foster comprehension and ownership of their future inheritance.

4. Emphasise values

Discuss the values and beliefs guiding your financial decisions to instil a sense of purpose and responsibility in your heirs.

5. Take a holistic approach

Tailor your estate plan to align with your family's dynamics and values, ensuring a smooth transition and minimising potential conflicts.

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Kimi Shah is a partner and head of the estate planning and wealth protection team at Kalus Kenny Intelex. She has significant experience in complex family estate planning including the importance of preserving wealth for future generations. Kimi holds a Masters of Applied Law in Wills and Estates, Bachelor of Laws, and Bachelor of Commerce in Commercial Law and Banking. She is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, and the global co-chair of the Estates and Trusts specialty group of the International Lawyers Network. She is also a contributing author of the Australian chapters of both the Mondaq Comparative Guide to Private Clients and the Lexology Private Clients Guide.