10 Wealth Transfer Topics to Cover With Your Children

Stipulate how you want your wealth to be transferred to your heirs.

Over the next 30 to 40 years, baby boomers are expected to transfer $30 trillion to their heirs, according to Accenture Consulting. To ensure a smooth wealth transfer and secure your family legacy, it's essential that you create an estate plan and keep it up to date. That might include working with a lawyer and/or a financial advisor to execute a will or create a trust and other needed documents.

It's also important to discuss your plans with your children and heirs. Steven J. Baum, Senior Vice President & Wealth Advisor for Regions Private Wealth Management in Tampa, Fla., offers these 10 tips and topics to cover with them.

  1. Set up a meeting with your financial advisor and adult children. Your financial advisor can help take the emotional side out of the conversation on how a wealth transfer will proceed. Discuss the value of a corporate trustee to help maintain family peace and avoid unnecessary issues.
  2. Explain your preferences on how your wealth will be used. Plan for when you are gone as if you were still living.
  3. Set parameters about how and to whom your money will be distributed. Are there any requirements for your heirs to receive the money?
  4. Talk about changes in family dynamics— such as divorces, multiple marriages, and blended families — and how those would impact your wealth transfer.
  5. Discuss philanthropy. Do you have any charitable causes that you want to support in the future?
  6. Set education expectations for future heirs. Do they involve undergraduate and postgraduate studies? What is expected of grandchildren and great-grandchildren?
  7. Discuss family legacy and what that might mean for your children, especially if it involves a family business or your community activities, boards, and charities that your heirs can continue to honor with their involvement.
  8. If you are a business owner, consider engaging a corporate trustee who can help eliminate any succession issues in the future.
  9. Make sure you are honest. Your children need to know where you stand.
  10. Schedule time to review. Review these items every three to five years or when a major life event occurs in the family such as a marriage, birth, divorce, or death.

Learn more about sharing your values and financial wisdom with your heirs.