A new study by Ameriprise Financial found that 83% of Americans surveyed plan to leave money to loved ones, but only 21% of them plan to tell their children what they get. This lack of communication can lead to some confusion, and misunderstanding when beneficiaries do not receive what they expected.
Family conflicts oftentimes arise after inheritances are distributed. 25% of those who had received inheritances sited conflicts over the terms of the will. While conflicts can never be avoided completely, it is possible to help avoid them parents discussing with their children the terms of their will. Telling children why you are distributing assets the way you are can help children understand why their sibling is receiving valuable jewelry or why funds are not split evenly. This can be especially valuable in situations where one child is more successful than the other or perhaps one child will require expensive care necessitating a special needs trust. While communicating these wishes cannot completely avoid conflict, it can at least help children understand what you want and hopefully encourage them to respect your wishes.