Pros And Cons Of Talking To Your Children About What Assets They Want

Posted on: 12 August 2018

When you're in the process of dividing your assets as you write up your will, you can either talk to your children (and any other people who are close to you) about what they might want or simply make these decisions yourself. Gathering your children and going through your home so that they can identify the things that they covet can be a worthwhile activity, but there are also some potential drawbacks to it. Here are some pros and cons that you should consider, and you may also wish to discuss them with your probate attorney to see if he or she has any additional insight on this topic.

Pro: They'll Get What They Want

You might not always have a clear idea about which your assets your children covet. For example, one child may have enjoyed looking at your coin collection as a kid, and unless you remember this, you may not think to leave the collection to this child. When you give your kids an opportunity to discuss your assets before you write your will, there's a better chance that you'll be able to give them the things that they want.

Con: It Can Create Conflicts

Sometimes, you may encounter a situation in which multiple people want the same thing, thus leading to a conflict. Ideally, your children will be responsible about the situation and one may say it's all right for the other child to get the item in question, but this isn't always the case. You could reach a stalemate with your children, likely making you wish that you hadn't given them the chance to talk about what assets they'd like.

Pro: It Can Be A Happy Time Together

Many aspects of writing a will can be a bit sad, given that you're thinking about your death. When you get together with your children to go through your assets, you can create a happy time together. Even if the reason for the get-together is a little upsetting, you can all enjoy being together. It can also be fun to talk a walk down memory lane as your children look at the possessions of yours that they've seen their entire lives.

Con: You Might Be Hurt Based On Their Lack Of Interest

Sometimes, you'll find yourself highly valuing a certain possession but learn that none of your children want it. For example, you might have an antique vase that has been in the family for generations, and when it comes time to talk about who to leave it to in your will, your children may tell you that they aren't interested in getting it. This can leave you feeling a little hurt.