Today’s retirees may feel more pressure to help out their adult children financially than previous generations – do your adult children have debts to pay off, live at home, or seem to expect financial help? Estate planning is an important part of retirement planning, as is talking to your loved ones about your legacy goals.

70% of U.S. families lost not only their financial assets but their sense of unity after transferring their wealth, according to a recent Money.com study. Communication is key when it comes to estate planning. Talking to loved ones about money can be difficult, but it is important to discuss how wealth transfer works, your legacy goals, and how you think your beneficiaries might best use any money they inherit.

Do you have adult children who are still financially dependent? Did your adult children move back in during the pandemic, lose their jobs, or ask for financial help? Consider if you are putting off saving or planning for your own retirement in order to support your adult children, and the long-term effects on you. Consider how much you would want to leave to beneficiaries and how much money you would like to have in retirement to enjoy. What if you are helping one child financially while your other child is doing well independently; do you adjust for that in your estate planning where people don’t feel bitter, remorseful or guilty? It is important to have conversations to alleviate unwanted issues after your passing.

When we talk about estate planning, there can be so much emphasis on the money or assets themselves. When you consider the things that you want to pass on to loved ones, think about values, life experiences, relationships, faith and so much more that you leave as part of your legacy.

An open dialogue with your family about your wealth transfer goals and the legacy planning process may help to avoid potential conflicts down the road. Everyone’s legacy plan and family will be very different, and there are no ‘one size fits all’ solutions, so having a basic outline of your goals and the issues you want to address can be helpful. We can help you create a plan and start the conversations with your loved ones.