The prospect of creating a will is not always easy, as it means you must face your own mortality and make serious decisions that can affect others. This may explain why, according to the American Association of Retired Persons, fewer than 30% of senior-age people do not have a will.
If you want to create a will and involve your adult children in the process, there are a few questions you may want to ask yourself before and during the process to ensure the choices you make regarding your will benefit everyone involved.
Are my children emotionally mature?
If you have more than one child, it is important to consider which are emotionally mature enough to discuss the topics that come with creating a will, such as death and fiduciary responsibility. While you may feel that your oldest child is responsible for taking on these duties, he or she may not feel prepared to do so. Discussing the preparation of your will with each child may help you understand which can offer you the most support and assistance.
How can I prevent sibling tension?
The creation of a will is often a time where emotions may run higher than usual, especially among your children. Discussions of heirs, money and property may cause some arguments, but you might prevent this by remaining as honest as possible and dividing assets equally. Prepare to discuss the division of family heirlooms and let your children know beforehand that want these talks to remain rational rather than let emotion rule the day.
As time passes, you may need to review your will to ensure it is still viable. If you must make changes, inform your children so there are no surprises later on.