No. of Recommendations: 4
Unlike most of you, my life is an open book to my kids. They know exactly where I'm leaving my assets, and when and why I make any (very few) changes.

I make sure they know where to find my will and trust documents, my seven years of saved tax returns, my brokerage account, bank accounts, deeds, etc. They know the names of my lawyer, all the people I hire (lawn guy, sprinkler guy, pool guy, snow removal guy, electrician, contractor, etc.) In fact, I've written an article titled "When I die" that explains to them all the information they'll need to settle my estate and manage stuff until that's accomplished, and it's the first thing they'll find when they open up my Trust book. I update the article whenever I make significant changes.

DH died suddenly a couple of years ago. The same thing could happen to me. We all die. Why on earth I'd keep my information secret from my kids seems like nonsense to me (luckily I have great kids.)

Of course I'm a good deal older than most of you - in my seventies. I've still got my health (well, most of it) and my mind (well, I think I do) but within a few years, I'll probably start becoming dependent on the kids more and more. It's time they knew what I have so that they can take care of me when/if the time comes.

Incidentally, I did make a change in my estate plan after DH died, and my three kids know about it. Previously, everything was going to be divided between the three kids, but because one has one child, one has two, and the third has four, I wanted that to be reflected in how I left my assets. All I did was to change the beneficiaries of my IRA to my seven grandchildren. Everything else remains the same. Everyone knows about this change, and no one thought of raising an objection - they all said Mom, it's your money, you decide where it goes.

Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.