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How much do you tell your kids about your assets?

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How much do you tell your kids about your assets?  Reply with quote  

Just wondering how much I should share about my finances/assets with my kids.
I have 2 boys , well young men now, ages 24 and 20 both living independently on their own.
I have tried to be the best dad I could since the were born and I know I'm getting older (age 61) but still in excellent health (no smoking, alcohol or drugs...not even coffee...not even candy....).
I've been divorced by their mother over 6 years ago and live alone single so they are my only beneficiaries.
I've got a retirement from my job, a 401K, an IRA and savings. I own a home, etc.. I have kept the life insurance plans on me since they were kids and I was married.

I've hesitated from telling them all this because...well, because I just feel more comfortable them not being aware of what I'm worth dead. Just being honest (maybe it's my own suspicious nature)

But I also don't like the fact that they are completely ignorant of my assets and how I would want them to manage themselves.
I think about the money they would need initially for travel, leave from employment and such and don't want them worried about income during the final arrangements.

So give me your thoughts.

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Last edited by adamjohnson on Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:47 am; edited 3 times in total
Post Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:52 am
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Do you have a will? If so, I would suggest giving each of them a copy and explaining in detail what would happen when you pass away. My parents update and give us copies with explanations every 5 years, that way we all know exactly what's involved. It creates an atmosphere of relaxation because we all know the plan and if we have questions we can ask them. For example I asked my dad what happens should one of my 3 siblings and I don't want to keep their vacation home in Arizona. Will there be a by out clause or what will happen. Also, who is the executer of the will is very important, that way we all know way ahead of time.
IMO, to keep things quiet is only going to lead to more problems when you're gone.


Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing. (Warren Buffet)
Post Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:16 pm
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You need a will and a durable power of attorney. The will should outline how you want your assets to be distributed upon your death, and who you want to be the executor of the will/your estate. The DPOA should define who can make decisions if and when you might become disabled or incapable of managing your decisions / finances / health care choices, etc.

In both documents your choices of who cares for you or who is executor should be a person you absolutely trust and with whom you have discussed the responsibilities and options of these positions. The person/people could be one of your sons or another relative or a very good trustworthy friend, or even an independent representative with credentials...

Another thing to consider is the state in which you live - do wills automatically go through probate or not. examples: CA is a probate state, CO is not. If you have significant assets and live in a probate state you may want a "living trust". My mother in CA put everything of significance into her living trust and when she passed on we avoided all probate issues and were able to relax and handle her estate as she wished. Also, she had made the will and trust decisions while in in-person discussions with us and a trust attorney. It was a good thing, as it resulted in everyone having the proper understanding of how she wanted to handle things to best benefit us upon her passing.
Post Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:05 pm
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