When should one share financials with their children?

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Parman
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When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Parman »

Just wondering if there are any thoughts, opinions, wisdom on an appropriate time in life to share ones financials with their grown children? My wife and I are both 72 years of age and expect to be around for another 15 years so this is not a deathbed inquiry. Just wondering if there is any value in sharing with the kids what might be their inheritance someday? Would this information be helpful in planning their financial future? I do not wish to stifle their own personal efforts to plan and save for their futures. Our Trust and Will spells out that our two kids are to receive equal shares of estate, they just do not know the size of estate. Thanks for any thoughts.
littlebird
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by littlebird »

I shared specifics when I felt it well within the realm of possibility that I might need some help in the near future. So, after my spouse was gone, I was alone, and I was aware that at least my physical, if not my mental, capacities were ebbing. In my case about 77 - 78.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by geerhardusvos »

Parman wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:18 pm Just wondering if there are any thoughts, opinions, wisdom on an appropriate time in life to share ones financials with their grown children? My wife and I are both 72 years of age and expect to be around for another 15 years so this is not a deathbed inquiry. Just wondering if there is any value in sharing with the kids what might be their inheritance someday? Would this information be helpful in planning their financial future? I do not wish to stifle their own personal efforts to plan and save for their futures. Our Trust and Will spells out that our two kids are to receive equal shares of estate, they just do not know the size of estate. Thanks for any thoughts.
It’s great that you’re thinking about this. I think that it’s wise and helpful to share information that is appropriate for the grown child. Based on their maturity level and their current financial situation, you should know pretty well if they are ready to hear what you want to tell them. But I think even high-level generalities about how you want to bless them and you do plan to give them some inheritance Is reasonable. There’s no clear-cut answer, but if relationships and lives are healthy, then you should feel confident in starting a dialogue about your estate plans.

Give your children a heads up on if you expect them to take care of you or what their responsibilities are as you age. Paint a picture of what your ideal situation is and try to align with them. Maybe there’s opportunity to give them some things sooner so that you can see them get the value from it. It all depends on your situation and your children. In my family we are very open about money and we are all responsible with it to varying degrees. I have appreciated the transparency, but I also understand that things can change so I’m not counting on anything.
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celia
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by celia »

Today's assets are likely to be very different than your assets in 15 years. So there is the possibility the information will be misleading.

However, reassurance that they will not need to support you in your own age can be welcome (only if this is true :) ) .
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cos
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by cos »

I've always been of the opinion that one should not plan around windfalls, especially those tied to something as uncertain as death. Your kids are probably better off, financially speaking, left in the dark. Of course, there are all kinds of specific details which may make it a better idea for you to share than to keep quiet (see previous responses), but as a young adult with a bad family situation who knows his parents financials, I can tell you that I wish I didn't.
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dodecahedron
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by dodecahedron »

celia wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:27 pm Today's assets are likely to be very different than your assets in 15 years. So there is the possibility the information will be misleading.

However, reassurance that they will not need to support you in your own age can be welcome (only if this is true :) ) .
I agree with the above. In addition to assets being different, many other things may be different. Just to take one example, even if both parents have LTC insurance, there may be a remarriage after the death of one spouse and unexpected costs associated for uninsured LTC needs of a new spouse that nobody has yet met. Or parents may decide to move to a higher cost of living location. Or many other unpredictable contingencies.
muddgirl
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by muddgirl »

I am coming from the other end of this - we am in my mid-thirties and our parents are in their mid-sixties.

We just had a sit-down with the in-laws to go over their retirement and estate plan, as well as the estate plan for a grandparent. This was important because we will be trustees for a dependent sibling's trust. We have an interest in ensuring that the sibling is financially cared for without having to rely on us. Obviously the size the trust was important to thus conversation but it doesn't change our financial plan - we are financially independent from our in-laws.

On my side of the family no inheritance is expected. We have talked about their general retirement plan and if they are on the path to independent retirement. I don't think my interests extend beyond that.

And it would be good to look ahead and make sure your children have wills and estate plans. This is why I don't like secrecy or shadiness on these kinds of discussions. If you are in your 70s your children are likely in their 40-50s - they should be worrying about their own financial future, not yours.
Normchad
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Normchad »

I will probably start sharing the details and plans when I’m 60.

I figure by then, they will be on their path in life and this knowledge won’t screw them up.

On the other hand, I’d like everybody to know everything, and understand the reasoning behind it all, so they and my wife can manage it all if I croak first.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Starfish »

In my opinion, if you have a healthy relationship with your children there is no age limit to include them in financial decisions. I find very disturbing this secrecy between parents and children. Or is it a statement of the education values instilled by parents who don't trust their kids?

For example as far as I remember (12 maybe) I knew pretty exactly how much money we had (income + accumulated). I still know now, although I am 10000 miles away (rough numbers, not interested in precision). It helps me to know if financial help is necessary. My name is on all the accounts and I could get all the money out if needed.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

celia wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:27 pm Today's assets are likely to be very different than your assets in 15 years. So there is the possibility the information will be misleading.

However, reassurance that they will not need to support you in your own age can be welcome (only if this is true :) ) .
+1

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quantAndHold
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by quantAndHold »

Dad started sharing their financials with us kids about the time he retired. He had a single page cheat sheet in the front of the top drawer of his file cabinet. It had account numbers and approximate balances, who to contact in case of emergency, where the key to the safe deposit box was, etc. He kept the list updated, and every four or five years, when I was there for a visit, he’d show it to me. My sibs say he did the same with them. Since I was the one he expected to handle things if he was incapacitated, he also gave a quick rundown of the order that I should drain accounts when I needed money, if it came to that (it did).

One thing I would add to what he did...he didn’t tell me anything about who his doctors were or anything about his health insurance. I figured out the health insurance by looking at his EOB’s. I never did figure out some of the doctor stuff. If he had been doing everything online, I wouldn’t have been able to figure out the insurance, either. My cheat sheet for my kids has doctor and insurance info as a result.

I handled his finances the last couple of years of his life. The day that I actually needed to use his cheat sheet came suddenly, so I’m very glad he did it the way he did. If I had had to figure things out on the fly, it would have been a lot more guesswork, and I’m sure I would have missed stuff.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by oldfort »

Now. Cognitive decline and dementia starting in your 70s is not uncommon. At some point, it can be valuable to have a second set of eyes on your finances.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Gnirk »

I have shared only the information they will need to have when I pass: A list of all accounts with the phone number, contact person, and beneficiary designations, if any; the bills I pay, and how they are paid; my health insurance info and how it is paid. Credit card accounts (not numbers of the card), phone number for SS and my small state retirement, the location and number of my safe deposit box, and where to find the key. I've also shared this with my DH.

I don't provide specifics as to the amounts in any of the accounts, because that isn't necessary at this time. However, I have assured them that I have enough to cover any long term care expenses so that I will not be a financial burden to them and they share equally in my estate. DH, of course, is the beneficiary of my small TIRA.
Last edited by Gnirk on Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Hockey10 »

My Mom died when she (and my Dad) were in their late 60s. Prior to that, I had no idea about my parents finances. As my Dad was settling the estate, he asked me to attend meetings with his estate attorney and tax accountant. In future years, he then asked me to attend the annual meeting with his tax accountant where he provided his tax info to the accountant. This process allowed for a fairly smooth transition when my Dad's health declined to the point where he needed my help in managing his finances.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Robot Monster »

As long as you're not concerned the children will start asking for upfront advances on their inheritance.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish »

As a child, I appreciate knowing the intention. I see more value in knowing the amount when relationships are more complicated as is the case with my wife's parents.

Wife's dad emailed us we should expect a percentage in the likely event he passes before wife's mom. We have a good idea of the amount. It is significant, but we have not earmarked it or made plans for it. Wife's dad told us because wife's mom isn't the most responsible with money, and he want's to leave some to his kids. We're concerned that his will isn't up to date, but I'm glad we know so we can fight to honor his intentions. For the record, he has no inclination to update his will.

My parents told us there is an even split with with my brother and I. I asked them because I'm one of two people (including my brother) with a vested interest in honoring their intentions. I do not know the amount of my parents' estate nor do I see the value in knowing.

I will not make plans based on this information because I maintain the skeptical assumption that the medical or elder care community will get the money before our parents pass. For what it's worth, I will be happy for our parents if they are in the position to spend down their estate and maintain a good quality of life. I will also be happy should they decide to do something with their estate other than gift it to wife and I.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

this isn't exactly an answer to your specific situation, but I always found this quote from William Bernstein amusing:
My father was a modestly successful attorney who, because he began his career a few years before the onset of the Depression, became a compulsive saver. Consequently, our house, vacations, and automobiles were not as fancy as those of our neighbors. When I’d ask him why this was, he’d reply that our neighbors owned a lot, but didn’t have a lot. In fact, he’d slyly add, he knew for a fact that more than a few owed a lot. (When I was younger, I’d ask him if we were rich: “Your mother and I are comfortably well to do. You don’t have a dime.)”

source http://tuttle.merc.iastate.edu/Bernstein_If_You_Can.pdf
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Stinky »

At age 66, I’ve prepared a comprehensive document describing what needs to happen after my death. There is a list of all accounts in the document, but no balances.

My wife and executor (son) know where the document is. The document then points them how to obtain the balances.

That’s all for now. Maybe I’ll be more open when I get really old.
Last edited by Stinky on Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by prairieman »

We have not really done so yet in our early sixties but have left hints that we’ll be fine going forward and that there will likely be some unknown amount after we pass - like the house, which is paid for. Leaving the house to them has, in fact, become an inside joke”. eg... “Some day, this lawn will be yours to mow....”, “This roof should hold up until you have to reroof it” ....
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FIREchief »

oldfort wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:55 pm Now. Cognitive decline and dementia starting in your 70s is not uncommon. At some point, it can be valuable to have a second set of eyes on your finances.
This is a good point. I'm not there yet, but have thought from time to time that it would be a good idea to have my responsible adult children start providing a second set of eyes when DW and I reach a specific age (e.g. 70). Also, although not mentioned much in this thread, it is very important to have an up to date DPOA in place. This should include the designated individual knowing where to find the DPOA document, listing of accounts/custodians, etc. To build on another common saying, "Incapacitation happens." :twisted:
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Mr.Chlorine »

My parents (upper 50s) started talking to my siblings and I somewhat recently. They kept the conversation high level, mostly putting out feelers to see which kids wanted what. They have a complicated real estate portfolio with multiple properties at each end of the value spectrum, and some with joint ownership already. I doubt they will ever explicitly tell us we are getting ~X dollars, but each kid already knows which properties they will get.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

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Gnirk wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:05 pm I have shared only the information they will need to have when I pass: A list of all accounts with the phone number, contact person, and beneficiary designations, if any; the bills I pay, and how they are paid; my health insurance info and how it is paid.
Excellent.
Credit card accounts (not numbers of the card),


Why not the card numbers? :confused
the location and number of my safe deposit box, and where to find the key. I've also shared this with my DH.
I doubt the key would do much good until the courts issued letters of appointment to an executor. If the estate was small/efficient, and didn't require probate, I'm not sure how somebody would ever gain access to the safe deposit box. DW and I have just added our adult children to the signature list on our box so that they can access it at any time. I don't see many other reports of folks doing this, but I really can't understand why not. It just requires them to make one stop at the bank and they're good to go.
I don't provide specifics as to the amounts in any of the accounts, because that isn't necessary at this time. However, I have assured them that I have enough to cover any long term care expenses so that I will not be a financial burden to them and they share equally in my estate.
This sounds like a good approach. 8-)
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FIREchief
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FIREchief »

Starfish wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:46 pm In my opinion, if you have a healthy relationship with your children there is no age limit to include them in financial decisions. I find very disturbing this secrecy between parents and children. Or is it a statement of the education values instilled by parents who don't trust their kids?
Disturbing? Secrecy? I would just call it staying out of each other's business. I believe that a lot of folks here on the forum have a "healthy" relationship with their children without opening up their accounting ledgers. :confused

I really can't figure out what you mean with the comments about not trusting our kids..... They have keys to our home and it's not like we lock up the computer and files when we're not around.
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NotWhoYouThink
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

I don't pretend to know how much my kids will "get", because I don't know when their parents will die, or if we will die separately or together.

Once they were out of college and employed I shared with them high level understanding of what we had, and confidence that we were unlikely to be a financial burden on them and likely to have something left over to leave them. They know we have pensions and expect SS in addition to our savings and paid off house.

My mom just died last month at age 94. That's 30+ years away for me, so a lot can change between now and then. They might have to take over our finances one day, so they both got a printed copy of "If You Can" and directions on where to find account information and investing summary.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Stoic9 »

Twice a year since I became within 5 years of retirement. First, children should know so THEY can make their financial plans. If Mom&Dad have no plan or did not plan well then children can better make their own plan. I know enough people my age whose parents NEVER discussed money. Those people have found themselves 'supporting' their parents in several cases. It wasn't part of their plan put it happens. Second I have a death book that lays out everything, we also discuss future plans (such as we just bought a new house, when the dog goes we will buy all new furniture, flooring, and a new car). When my FIL goes we will go live in Europe for a year. All these are financial decisions children need to know to better develop their own plans.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Mr.Chlorine »

FIREchief wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:22 pm
Starfish wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:46 pm In my opinion, if you have a healthy relationship with your children there is no age limit to include them in financial decisions. I find very disturbing this secrecy between parents and children. Or is it a statement of the education values instilled by parents who don't trust their kids?
Disturbing? Secrecy? I would just call it staying out of each other's business. I believe that a lot of folks here on the forum have a "healthy" relationship with their children without opening up their accounting ledgers. :confused

I really can't figure out what you mean with the comments about not trusting our kids..... They have keys to our home and it's not like we lock up the computer and files when we're not around.
I would second this. My parents supported me (financially) until I was 22, paid for close to half of my undergrad, and let me move back home while job searching. Fast forward a couple years and I am financially stable on my own, only debt is my mortgage. We do not actively share finances with each other, but if they ask questions about my salary, retirement, or budget I will truthfully answer. The same goes for them. I even helped plan their retirement budget.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by oldfort »

FIREchief wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:11 pm
oldfort wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:55 pm Now. Cognitive decline and dementia starting in your 70s is not uncommon. At some point, it can be valuable to have a second set of eyes on your finances.
This is a good point. I'm not there yet, but have thought from time to time that it would be a good idea to have my responsible adult children start providing a second set of eyes when DW and I reach a specific age (e.g. 70). Also, although not mentioned much in this thread, it is very important to have an up to date DPOA in place. This should include the designated individual knowing where to find the DPOA document, listing of accounts/custodians, etc. To build on another common saying, "Incapacitation happens." :twisted:
I had a relative with Alzheimer’s who by 80 didn’t always know what city/state they were in. While we like to think we will all be in perfect health forever, this often isn’t the case.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by tman389 »

My dad is in his early 80's living on his own. He's made sure all four children have his living trust, health care directive, etc. and shared with us generally his financial situation. After my mom's passing a year ago (with dementia), he gave his two oldest children a cheat sheet of accounts, logins, passwords, etc. His goal was that should be become incapacitated (or upon his passing), we could step in and more easily pay his bills, etc. With so much occurring electronically these days, if we couldn't even log into his computer we'd be lost paying his bills or accessing anything if he was incapacitated.

As the eldest son and executor of his estate, its comforting knowing I have the info to step in and provide assistance as he ages.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by terran »

As the son-in-law of someone in a similar situation, here are a couple of reasons I'm grateful to my father-in-law for choosing to share this information: 1) it's comforting to know that my-sister-in-law should be provided for, which might otherwise be a concern, so my wife and I are more confident that we won't need to provide that help and 2) as my wife will be the executor we're glad that he sat down with us to provide notes on the who/what/where so we won't have to do as much work when the time comes.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Sandtrap »

Parman wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:18 pm Just wondering if there are any thoughts, opinions, wisdom on an appropriate time in life to share ones financials with their grown children? My wife and I are both 72 years of age and expect to be around for another 15 years so this is not a deathbed inquiry. Just wondering if there is any value in sharing with the kids what might be their inheritance someday? Would this information be helpful in planning their financial future? I do not wish to stifle their own personal efforts to plan and save for their futures. Our Trust and Will spells out that our two kids are to receive equal shares of estate, they just do not know the size of estate. Thanks for any thoughts.
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FIREchief
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FIREchief »

tman389 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:36 pm He's made sure all four children have his living trust, health care directive, etc. and shared with us generally his financial situation. After my mom's passing a year ago (with dementia), he gave his two oldest children a cheat sheet of accounts, logins, passwords, etc. His goal was that should be become incapacitated (or upon his passing), we could step in and more easily pay his bills, etc. With so much occurring electronically these days, if we couldn't even log into his computer we'd be lost paying his bills or accessing anything if he was incapacitated.
Has he established a durable power of attorney? Giving multiple individuals logon credentials to core accounts is a really bad way to plan. It gets even worse if transactions are made in his accounts after his passing. If current bills are a concern, than a modest checking account accessible through a designated institutional POA would likely be a good approach. Upon death, nobody has legal rights to his assets unless it was a joint account or they have since been appointed by a court as personal representative. Password to his computer - good. Passwords to financial accounts - not so good.....
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by mbt863 »

My parents (80s) have given me (early 50s) details since I am the executor of their estate....they are best parents ever but I had to push a bit for this information (mainly because I didn't want to mess anything up). It was helpful to know and when my children get older I intend to put together the "death book" which I think is an excellent idea....viewtopic.php?t=119346
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by friar1610 »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:50 pm
2 big gifts to my kids: graduate debt free and knowing that we won’t be knocking on their doors with our hands out. Many other gifts, but they pale in comparison.
+1
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Meg77 »

I'm in my 30s and have parents in their early 60s. I and my 3 siblings know pretty exactly what both my mother and father have (they are divorced). My dad updates me regularly on his portfolio swings on Really Big Days, and my mom checks with me to see if I think she can afford things like a new house or big purchase (I'm in finance so she has me review her portfolio to make sure it's "on track").

I don't think it makes any difference in what we kids do with our lives financially. Of course things can change - one of them could remarry or give it all away or get scammed out of it or make a bad investment or get sick but not sick enough to die and use it all up on expensive long term care. But hopefully they'll live another 30 years. I have two grandparents still alive in their 80s and only lost the other two in the past few years. So even if I were counting on an inheritance, I'm not going to wait that long to become financially secure/wealthy.

I do get a LOT of comfort knowing they are both secure financially though. My mother has also started giving away some of her money each year to us, and my parents jointly help pay for their grandkids' childcare/tuition. Due to that we've had some frank conversations to make sure they aren't over giving. But having the help now versus when they pass IS very nice, for us and also I think for them to see.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by NerdicSkier »

My children are school-age so I hopefully have many years before they will need a working knowledge of our financials due to loss or impairment. However, I have shared as much detail as they care to have with respect to our income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. My late elementary school daughter is upset when I don't save a few receipts for her to allocate to different categories in Quicken each Saturday morning.

We also discuss financial matters openly. How else will they learn? Even if they learn from our mistakes :shock:
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by RetiredAL »

When my Mom was about 80, she did a road map for me of where everything was - Accounts, Insurances, ect. I helped steer them with some of their investments in 2008-2009 turmoil.

My Mom had always done the family finances, even though my Dad ran the business practices for a group of Doctors and fully understood everything. When my Mom died 7 years ago, my Dad was 89, and he did not want to manage any of his finances, so he made me the Trustee and joint owner of whatever was not in the trust. At first, he took care to make sure all the bills were paid, but as he declined, I have taken over 100% of everything. He is now in an Assisted Living Facility. My sister does not want to be involved in managing his finances but I do include her in anything significant to his estate.

My kids know of the our (DW and I) Trust and where all the estate paperwork is. I have shared with them an overview of our money. I have made sure that all financial accounts have appropriate beneficiaries and POA assignments, and copies of those assignments are with the estate paperwork for backup. Whereas previously our general POA's had our kids contingent to our incapacitation by doctors, this year we changed it make them POA agents outright.
7eight9
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by 7eight9 »

My parents have never shared any financial information with me. And vice versa. Every family has different dynamics. What one family considers appropriate another would consider ill-mannered. The OP should do whatever they think is right.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.
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Portfolio7
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Portfolio7 »

The only answer one can give to this question is 'when you and they are ready'. In our family there are a huge variety of answers:

When my siblings and I were in our teens, our parents told us we'd each get an equal share of whatever estate was left when they passed, no numbers mentioned. They told us who the executor would be.

My parents are in their eighties now, and while they sometimes share one or another element, they still don't really share the full picture of their financials with us... though we have an idea of their overall situation. That's a cultural matter, I think, as much as anything. Plus my dad's insecurity about his investing prowess (which is silly, but I can't change it.) I do know what they invest in.

I know almost everything about my FIL's finances.

My older son has developmental issues, and while he's very capable of comprehending money management, he has zero interest. That's ok, we're handling that in the way we think is best. It would simply be unwise to share our financial info with him.

My younger son, who is college age, knows a lot about our finances and has since late high school. Not at the transactional level, but he has a broad idea of our net worth, our financial goals, the purposes we designate our money to. He has both interest and good judgement, not just about money (and information), but about many things that will help him in life.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest" - Benjamin Franklin
quantAndHold
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by quantAndHold »

There’s two issues I think a few people are conflating. First is letting the kids know about any possible inheritance, and second is having someone who is up to speed and capable of being DPOA and/or executor on short notice. Whether or not to tell someone they might or might not inherit from your estate anything is one thing. Having someone who’s up to speed and can step in when you have a stroke and can’t fend for yourself is quite another. The first situation is a personal matter between parents and kids. The second is responsible financial planning as we get older.

My personal opinion is someone in their 70’s should have at least one younger person who is up to speed, ready, willing, and able to be the DPOA.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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Matahari
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Matahari »

oldfort wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:55 pm Now. Cognitive decline and dementia starting in your 70s is not uncommon. At some point, it can be valuable to have a second set of eyes on your finances.
I agree with this, especially for those whose spouses are not heavily involved. Normally one's spouse would be the co-pilot, but that is not always the case.

I'm planning on getting my child completely on board once said child is past being consumed with post-grad education. Child does have a good notion of the basics and shows aptitude for finances and investments.
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Sandi_k
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Sandi_k »

We have two different samples:

1) My widowed mom. She's been on her own since her mid-60's, and she's handled most of it on her own. When a sibling moved out of state, she decided to make me executrix of her estate. As a result, I went with her to the attorney a couple of years ago, when she updated that, and I've now taken over doing her taxes.

In doing so, I've learned a bit about her sources of income, her outgos, who to notify when the time comes, etc. I've also circulated a list of her personal items to my siblings, as my mom had conflicting lists on who got what. ;) It's been very helpful to have had a chance to make sure her POA is up to date, her Health Directive is on file with the local hospital and doctor, that HIPAA releases have been made for myself and my sister, etc.

2) My In-Laws. They're now in their mid-to-late 80's, and my FIL is freakishly private. My MIL is full of anxiety, because he won't even talk to *her* about their finances. So when we were visiting recently, she brought out their trust paperwork from 1995, and wanted to go through it with me.

It was horrifying. They had an Appendix where their accounts were listed, and EVERY SINGLE ACCOUNT is no longer in existence. The Merrill Lynch retirement account is now at USB. The Washington Mutual checking and savings accounts are now at XX City Bank & Trust. Life insurance policies are no longer in effect. The mortgage is now with another lender, given refinancing. MIL's business account has changed banks. MIL has no idea which bank holds FIL's business account.

Their POA is now 25 years old, and she's never used it. So I am fearful that it will be considered null and void, especially if he's incapacitated. The FTB in CA says it will not recognize POAs older than 6 years.

https://www.ftb.ca.gov/tax-pros/power-o ... index.html

FIL set all this up 25 years ago to avoid probate. I am confident that there will absolutely be a probate opened, given the lapse in the details. :(
Nowizard
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Nowizard »

Our children have known since they first became interested in finance around the teenage years. It was used to teach practical guidelines. We have generally been transparent financially, and both are financially literate as adults. One thing they say is that they would "accept" an inheritance, typically with laughter, but that they don't expect it and want us to spend whatever will bring us pleasure in retirement. They know they will split any inheritance they might receive.

Tim
MathWizard
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by MathWizard »

I showed most to my oldest when I turned 62. We named him as the one who will take over
finances if my wife and I cannot do so, and showed him where we keep the information.
I shared it then so that he knew that we had the funds and he would not bear any financial burden
other than managing the funds.

The younger son has a basic idea, due my having explained to them both about how much you need to retire,
and hence how much they need to be saving each year. Both have jobs, and are frugal.
rich126
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by rich126 »

Honestly my father has never shared this information, nor have I asked. My mother passed away a while ago. He did give me an envelope with documents to cover stuff upon this death but I've never open/read them. If he was having financial issues or serious health issues it might be another story but thankfully that isn't an issue.

I recently told my GF to look in a couple of binders with info on various accounts, trust, living wills, etc. in case I get sick, injured, etc. I don't have any children or ex-wives so except for her, my brother and my father, my family is quite small.

From a child perspective, i don't think it is any of my business what my father does with his money (unless he spends it all and asks me for more!).
GlacierRunner
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by GlacierRunner »

My primary concerns in talking with my parents about money has been do they have enough to care for themselves throughout their retirement. I have been reassured that they have enough to cover their needs while also recognizing that any inheritance passed down will not be enough for me to get excited about.

My parents have started sharing small bits of information with me as they have selected me as the the trustee of their revocable trust. I was added to a couple of their bank accounts before they finalized their trust so that I could pay bills and such in the event they were incapacitated by COVID-19. I have also encouraged them to add me as a contact on various bills in the event they forget or are traveling when such a bill comes due (water, gas, electric, small life insurance policy, etc.). Some state laws require companies to allow anyone over age 70 to add an emergency contact to account notes so that essential services aren't turned off or cancelled.

I would recommend that since you are over age 70, you start putting in place the communication needed to make sure that things are taken care off seamlessly if you need help in your day to day as well as preparations for your passing.
xxd091
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by xxd091 »

I started giving my 3 (46,45 and 43)children information where all our financial assets were some years ago
They are the executors of the estate-all 3 married with kids and financially secure
This year (my wife and I are 74-and in good health) I gave them the actual financial amounts
I do the finances-my wife knows our financial position but not interested in the details
I will continue to update the financial figures every year or so in a document to each of them
They also have power of financial and welfare attorney
So far they acknowledge the situation but don’t enquire further-confident with the info they have?
Could I do more -probably but that’s it for the moment
Life throws so many curveballs that anticipating them all is impossible
xxd091
Lalamimi
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Lalamimi »

We gave basic information in 2018 when I was laid off and retired. We were going on our first overseas trip (ok, only one) and put papers in order, told son (he is now 42) where they were. Let daughter ( now 38) know roughly how much we had so she would not worry (she has told my husband she would take him in, lol). We have no LTC coverage, but are 66 and 68.
shorty313
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by shorty313 »

Gnirk wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:05 pm I have shared only the information they will need to have when I pass: A list of all accounts with the phone number, contact person, and beneficiary designations, if any; the bills I pay, and how they are paid; my health insurance info and how it is paid. Credit card accounts (not numbers of the card), phone number for SS and my small state retirement, the location and number of my safe deposit box, and where to find the key. I've also shared this with my DH.

I don't provide specifics as to the amounts in any of the accounts, because that isn't necessary at this time. However, I have assured them that I have enough to cover any long term care expenses so that I will not be a financial burden to them and they share equally in my estate. DH, of course, is the beneficiary of my small TIRA.
This is essentially what my parents have shared with me at this point (they are early 70s). Gave us info on intent of their Will with properties and assets. I asked a few basic questions like does his pension have survivorship rights for mom, extraordinary care wishes, etc. I know value of properties, have No clue about assets. Dad has always taught me to pretend an inheritance doesn’t exist, because you never know.

We have taken over FiLs financials and bill paying because at 88 he needs the help after MIL passed two years ago. They started sharing info with my husband in their early 80s.
flaccidsteele
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by flaccidsteele »

My spouse and I are in our 40s. We discuss family money and finances with our kid all the time

What’s the big deal?

Is there a benefit to wait until we’re in our 70s?
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
Gnirk
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Gnirk »

FIREchief wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:17 pm
Gnirk wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:05 pm
the location and number of my safe deposit box, and where to find the key. I've also shared this with my DH.
I doubt the key would do much good until the courts issued letters of appointment to an executor. If the estate was small/efficient, and didn't require probate, I'm not sure how somebody would ever gain access to the safe deposit box. DW and I have just added our adult children to the signature list on our box so that they can access it at any time. I don't see many other reports of folks doing this, but I really can't understand why not. It just requires them to make one stop at the bank and they're good to go.
I don't provide specifics as to the amounts in any of the accounts, because that isn't necessary at this time. However, I have assured them that I have enough to cover any long term care expenses so that I will not be a financial burden to them and they share equally in my estate.
This sounds like a good approach. 8-)
My daughter and husband's names are both on the safe deposit box.
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