You think of writing a will as a way to leave your assets to your children. But have you ever stopped to consider whether or not they even want those assets?
Consider the case of one parent who asked their daughter what she wanted. All of the assets were up for grabs and she could have asked for anything — or everything. Instead, she picked three things that she hoped to get.
It’s not hard to see the problem here. Most of us have homes filled with thousands of items. Some experts warn that the next generation does not actually want all of this stuff.
That’s why it’s difficult to talk about passing on a specific amount of wealth. Things like homes, cars, bank accounts and investments will get passed on. But how much money do you have tied up in things your kids do not want you to leave to them?
Maybe you’re a hunter with a gun collection, but none of your children hunt. Maybe you’re an art collector with thousands of dollars in paintings, but your children live in smaller homes with no room and have a different taste in art. Maybe you just have outdated furnishings — couches, china collections, rugs, chairs, tables, beds, etc. The list goes on and on. There are many things that you use every day, that you may love personally, that your children may not want at all.
It’s important to consider this possibility when doing your estate planning. Should you talk to the kids about what they want and what they don’t? It may help you create an accurate plan and start dealing with all of the assets that may not be needed by that next generation.