You certainly do not have to talk to your adult children as you make your estate plan. Even those who are listed as your heirs do not have to know what that plan looks like in advance.
That being said, there are some good reasons to have a conversation or two with your children about your plans as you draft the documents. It may be a wise thing to consider. Here’s why:
It helps your children understand your goals
First off, showing that you care about the outcome of your estate plans can help ease tensions in your family after you are gone. Even if your children do not like the plan, they will know that it does truly reflect your wishes. That can avoid a lot of questions and fighting down the line.
If they have issues, they can talk to you
If your children find out they have issues with your estate plans after you pass away, they can only talk to each other about what should be done. Giving them a chance to have that conversation with you, while you can still alter the plan, is very valuable.
Disputes are less likely to occur
Perhaps most important is the fact that talking to them can help reduce the odds of an estate dispute in the future and help your children remain on good terms with each other. That’s clearly the future you want for your family, and this is one way that you can help guide them toward it.
Getting your plan underway
If you have not yet started your estate planning, it’s important to look into all of the legal steps you need to take to craft your will and other documents. This can be a productive journey for you and your heirs, and an attorney can guide you through the process.