When should one share financials with their children?

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

Post by galving »

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.
Start now.
Depends on how tuned in your kids are to financials.
My parents are ~5 or so years older and things were fine. . . until they weren't.
One of my parents managed all the finances, logins, internet access and then got sick.

The other parent was completely unprepared and needed immediate help.
Luckily we were able to respond.

Have a game plan for what you want to do, how much help and support you want to have to stay in your home.
Know when transitioning to other housing arrangements.
As annoying as it can be, plan your funeral arrangements because otherwise your stressed out relatives will literally be making decisions 'on the fly'.
Its a recipe for over-spending and not a boglehead approach.

Finances were never a secret, though I didn't appreciate how well my parents managed.
7 figure net worth for a couple of teachers is not too shabby.
Not sure that my sibling completely understands the full picture but its not going to alter his path substantially.

Good luck!
Wanderingwheelz
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Wanderingwheelz »

My 78 year old dad and I talk about finances, my mom having passed a many years ago, but there’s no reason for me to know any details on his balances since he is still sharp and it’s well understood he’s got a lot of money.

I’d actually feel really awkward if he asked me if I wanted to see the balances. I’ve always felt it’s none of my business.

When I run retirement calculators I use zero for inheritance even though it will be 7 figures. Whatever it is, I’ll just work it into my own estate plan for my heirs.
bikechuck
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by bikechuck »

My daughters both know the approx size of my wife's and my portfolio. We are in our late 60s and they are in their mid to late 30s.

They are both responsible and when the time comes I want to make sure they have a good idea that they have located all available assets.
delamer
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by delamer »

We filled our kids in on our assets, wills, and inheritance plans when they were college age.

A lot of it was showing them the accounts in Quicken. 😄

I wanted to make sure they knew where to find the information, in part so nothing would be overlooked if we died unexpectedly early.

They know we have their backs (financially or otherwise) in case of real need. And that we plan on making gifts for specific purposes (like house downpayments). However, they are mature enough to understand that 1) our money is not their money and 2) they need to make their own way in this world.

I don’t worry that somehow the likelihood of a substantial inheritance will warp their judgement. But I certainly think that’s possible, depending on the kids and the parents.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

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.
+1

Our kids are grown now, but we have never had a sit-down conversation with them about our finances and I doubt we ever will. I trust them enough not only for the house keys etc, but have left a loaded firearm and thousands of dollars in currency in my nightstand for years--they have known about both and have acted responsibly with that knowledge.

I have left instructions as to how to access my PC and my password manager. With those two pieces of information, they can find everything they need. Whether DW, DD, or DS is the one to find those instructions, I have no doubt that they will be able to find their way quite easily. The instructions include my suggestions as to what to do at junctures where they will have obvious options and/or encounter likely pitfalls. They are reasonable and intelligent people. I'm confident that they will be ok and not overwhelmed.
sharp1aarohead
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by sharp1aarohead »

Interestingly, I interpreted the thread differently. I'm 37 with a 5 and 3 year old and was thinking about the next 10 years, whereas, it sounds like many others have never shared this type of information with their children until late in adulthood. I wonder if there is a generational difference. My mother who is in her mid 60s was very private about her finances whereas I could care less who knows how much I make or how much I've saved. I don't go around talking about it necessarily, but if asked, I'd have no problem sharing. Most of my friends are in the same boat and when we hear how much we're saving there's more of a congratulatory clap on the back than any sort of jealousy.

What would be the harm of a 40 year old adult knowing their parent's net worth or expected inheritance? If that son or daughter is the type of person who would change their behavior because they know they have an eventual windfall, I'd find it a bit sad. Just my two cents...maybe I'll feel differently when I'm a bit further down the road though!
Starfish
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Starfish »

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 guess I just don't understand how you can have a family and "stay out of each other's business" at the same time. To me these concepts are completely opposed.

But then there is the practical issue. When they are young it helps their financial education and exposure, when parents are older, they can help with decisions. I think from about 60-70 it becomes pretty dangerous not to have a second opinion. And how am I going to get a qualified second opinion without a financial education first?

Keeping finances secret and never discussing about money benefits the companies who pay our salaries, the predatory financial advisors, the high fee funds. Some people were duped into this behavior. If I am discussing freely with my friends about money and income, or worse, on a forum with strangers, why would not discuss it with my children?
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Gnirk »

sharp1aarohead wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:38 am

What would be the harm of a 40 year old adult knowing their parent's net worth or expected inheritance? If that son or daughter is the type of person who would change their behavior because they know they have an eventual windfall, I'd find it a bit sad. Just my two cents...maybe I'll feel differently when I'm a bit further down the road though!
It is sad and very frustrating and I have seen it happen in my DH’s family.
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FIREchief
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FIREchief »

Starfish wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:11 am
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 guess I just don't understand how you can have a family and "stay out of each other's business" at the same time. To me these concepts are completely opposed.
Really? You need to be in each other's financial business to have a "family?" This is bizarre. Is that all "family" is about? Finances??
But then there is the practical issue. When they are young it helps their financial education and exposure, when parents are older, they can help with decisions. I think from about 60-70 it becomes pretty dangerous not to have a second opinion.
Careful there partner. What exactly are you suggesting about a 60 year old? I'm guessing that you're not close to 60 yourself.
And how am I going to get a qualified second opinion without a financial education first?
Are you suggesting that a person can't educate their kids about finances without opening the family ledger?
Keeping finances secret and never discussing about money benefits the companies who pay our salaries, the predatory financial advisors, the high fee funds. Some people were duped into this behavior. If I am discussing freely with my friends about money and income, or worse, on a forum with strangers, why would not discuss it with my children?
Our salaries? I haven't had a salary for years. What exactly are you talking about here? You seem to be talking about two different things. Sharing family financial details and "discussing money." Can't you do the later without the former? :confused Or, are you one of those people who actually shares details of your personal finances with co-workers, friends and strangers on the internet? (that's a whole different discussion :shock: )
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
Dandy
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by Dandy »

We started gifting "early inheritance" to our children and didn't want them to worry about our financial situation. Also, wanted to let them know some specifics as we are in our 70's and want them to keep an eye on our mental state. We did the discussion at age 70 and it went well. We were supposed to do it yearly but that hasn't happened. Next up is to finalize and discuss funeral related issues. Difficult topic at any time but especially with Covid concerns.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by vested1 »

My wife and I just did this, at ages 67 and 68 respectively. We used to have a family trust, which was nullified when we moved from California to the east coast, because the main asset was our home, which we sold before relocating. Our investment accounts are covered by beneficiary designations and are excluded from the will. Our previous trust listed my brother and my brother-in-law as trustees because our children were young and incapable of making good financial decisions 20 years ago.

Our new will splits everything equally between my two daughters and my stepdaughter, with my oldest daughter and my stepdaughter as co-executors. They are now 38 and 41 years old respectively, and our youngest is 35. They are all level headed and committed to each other. The will was designed to make any probate simple and straightforward with the offspring of each daughter receiving their share should one of our daughters predecease us.

I sent a letter to all three, listing current assets and their value, with the caution that assets would likely be lower, but at least different, when we died. I included contact information and account numbers because we trust them. I also included the account numbers and contact information of all of our recurring and automatically billed creditors (utilities, storage, and such). I told them where to find the passwords for each account, but did not give them the passwords in the letter. I told them where to find the will, and gave them the name and contact information of our attorney. We may transition this to a new trust at some point in order to avoid an expected short and inexpensive probate managed by our attorney.

The reasons for doing this were twofold.

1. We took care of my MIL for the last 10 years of her life, 4 of which were spent in a skilled nursing facility. I did all of the management and disposition of her affairs, including her financials and healthcare. At her death I had to deal with 11 agencies and was blindsided by several aspects that were unknown to us and unshared by my MIL. It took 6 months to get through it all, with the process being complicated and stressful. By sharing all that we did with our daughters, the process should go much smoother, and add as little as possible to the stress they are sure to encounter.

2. COVID makes it more possible that we could die earlier than expected if one or both of us gets infected. Both of us have multiple risk factors that made the logic of dealing with this beforehand even more prudent.

While none of our daughters wanted to discuss the possibility of us dying, and in fact expressed the desire for us to live rather than to inherit anything, we felt that it was in their best interest to inform them of our intentions, and how to go about finalizing the disposition of our affairs.
A440
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by A440 »

I'm fairly certain my soon to be college bound DS will get an idea of our financials when we fill out the FAFSA together this fall. I like the way Dave Ramsey put it in his and his daughters book Smart Money, Smart Kids when his son found out their financials. "Wow Dad! It looks like we're doing really well". To which Dave replied, "Son, your Mom and I are doing really well, you guys have nothing". :happy
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johnny
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by johnny »

Seems to me that how the funds are managed is more important than account balances and such. Is there any debt? Names of key contacts and service providers, etc.

Great topic, and it makes me think I should have a more detailed conversation with my dad about this stuff.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

We have shared enough information that the kids have a rough idea. One of the kids, the son who will manage our portfolio when we are no longer able to, has a more up-to-date idea.

I think having an idea is partly why my daughter decided that taking 2 years to be in the Peace Corps was reasonable. I am happy that knowing she had a safety net let her make that choice.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
pennywise
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by pennywise »

FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:06 pm
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.
From what you write, it sounds like your FIL is telling his daughter he wants to leave her some money but his will leaves the estate to his wife, in which case there is no "fight to honor his intentions" because he also has let you know he has no intention of changing his will. You certainly can't change it for him post mortem based on something he said before he died.

So his intentions seem pretty clear: he thinks his wife is a spendthrift and the money will go to his wife. I can't imagine any court overturning a valid will with assets left to a spouse in favor of their children other than in some dire situation of mental or physical problems, but maybe I misunderstood your statement?

Otherwise as a wise man once said a verbal commitment ain't worth the paper it's printed on :wink:
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish »

pennywise wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:20 am
FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:06 pm
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.
From what you write, it sounds like your FIL is telling his daughter he wants to leave her some money but his will leaves the estate to his wife, in which case there is no "fight to honor his intentions" because he also has let you know he has no intention of changing his will. You certainly can't change it for him post mortem based on something he said before he died.

So his intentions seem pretty clear: he thinks his wife is a spendthrift and the money will go to his wife. I can't imagine any court overturning a valid will with assets left to a spouse in favor of their children other than in some dire situation of mental or physical problems, but maybe I misunderstood your statement?

Otherwise as a wise man once said a verbal commitment ain't worth the paper it's printed on :wink:
I wasn't quite clear - I do believe money is willed to my wife. I suppose the "fight" will be verifying whether or not we actually have a valid claim. I'm not sure how things work when one passes, and we're concerned that wife's mom might attempt to stonewall us.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by flaccidsteele »

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?

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.
+1 this

We talk finances all the time. There’s no reason for our kid not to know
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by RadAudit »

Everyone's situation is different.

Both my son (35) and daughter (40) are transitioning toward a firm financial footing in their own lives. I haven't told them how much we have in our estate primarily because I don't know how much will be there when it passes to them and I don't want them to anchor on a particular number and incorporate it in to their plans.

I have told them that they'll get to split whatever is left 50 / 50 after we're gone. I send them an e-mail every year explaining how the estate is invested, essentially two LifeStrategy funds and the house. Hopefully they won't expect much and will continue to progress toward their own goals at their own pace.

Additionally, the annual e-mail lets them know they can have a copy of my IPS if they want it. No one has asked for it.
Last edited by RadAudit on Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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pennywise
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by pennywise »

quantAndHold wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:41 pm 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.
This is a very wise perspective.

I"m dealing now with the latter transition for my dad who is 86 and definitely showing signs of struggling cognitively. He's a widower and the inheritance docs are all up to date: will, POA, health care directives etc. He came from very modest means and has a healthy financial profile now, so he takes a lot of pride in assuring us (there are six siblings) that we each will receive X amount 'when the time comes'.

However, none of us is focused on or counting on getting our X since we are all functional and solvent adults. Our sole priority is that he has any and all resources he needs to live out his life with the best care options possible. Not one of us is counting on inheriting a dime.

What we are extremely concerned about right now is how to help him manage his financial life which has become increasingly challenging for him. So for example this year with his consent we moved his IRS income tax prep to my trusted accountant. That made it easier for me to help gather the docs, get them to her and keep copies of the materials. This follows an overpayment to the IRS last year with lots of confusion on dad's part.

My sister just worked with him to get added to his primary bank account which was revelatory to say the least. Turns out dad has $130K in a checking account(!), and that he is withdrawing $400-$500 cash each week from grocery store ATM machines for walking around money. Given he is also trusting and confused it's not hard to see some potential problems there! He also told us he has what he called a ghost account at another bank with "nothing in it", which turned out to have almost $70K in assets.

He has also been having problems keeping track of his bills. So sister is putting everything she can on autopay and we will monitor property tax invoices etc.

Between the sister helping with banking and me, we are tackling what we call dad's cabinet of curiosities which is a credenza packed to the gills with files, receipts, invoices and various vitally important and absolutely useless documents, mixed up in no discernible system.

He can no longer manage it and we are slowly and gently working with him to try to get things organized as much as possible. NB, this always reminds me of my MIL who as she declined into dementia kept telling us that all her important documents were in 'the box'. When we finally needed to open up the box it contained her baptismal certificate, graduation announcements from her kids' kindergarten and her children's baby teeth and locks of hair from their first haircuts. Sigh. We won't do that again!

The risk he focuses on is solely how we will divvy up what is left after he is gone. The risk we are focusing on is making sure he doesn't create huge problems for himself and us by not being able to handle what he's got while he is living.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by oldfort »

quantAndHold wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:41 pm 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.
A third situation to be concerned about is gradual cognitive decline and impaired judgement. Someone who might be capable of the basic activities of daily living, but wires their life savings to a Nigerian prince or moves all their money to Dogecoin.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by oldfort »

FIREchief wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:04 am
Starfish wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:11 am
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 guess I just don't understand how you can have a family and "stay out of each other's business" at the same time. To me these concepts are completely opposed.
Really? You need to be in each other's financial business to have a "family?" This is bizarre. Is that all "family" is about? Finances??
But then there is the practical issue. When they are young it helps their financial education and exposure, when parents are older, they can help with decisions. I think from about 60-70 it becomes pretty dangerous not to have a second opinion.
Careful there partner. What exactly are you suggesting about a 60 year old? I'm guessing that you're not close to 60 yourself.
And how am I going to get a qualified second opinion without a financial education first?
Are you suggesting that a person can't educate their kids about finances without opening the family ledger?
Keeping finances secret and never discussing about money benefits the companies who pay our salaries, the predatory financial advisors, the high fee funds. Some people were duped into this behavior. If I am discussing freely with my friends about money and income, or worse, on a forum with strangers, why would not discuss it with my children?
Our salaries? I haven't had a salary for years. What exactly are you talking about here? You seem to be talking about two different things. Sharing family financial details and "discussing money." Can't you do the later without the former? :confused Or, are you one of those people who actually shares details of your personal finances with co-workers, friends and strangers on the internet? (that's a whole different discussion :shock: )
What topics you discuss can reveal a lot about finances without giving exact numbers. For example, normal people don't worry about paying the federal estate tax. It's not relevant to their lives. If mom and dad start talking about minimizing the federal estate tax, then they expect to leave at a minimum $5M+ and with portability, $10M+ if they are married.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by michaeljc70 »

Though it is your prerogative if you want to share that information, I don't think it is necessary to give amounts. Anyone can leave a list of assets and tell family members where it is. My grandparents had and my parents have a binder with every account, life insurance policy, etc. in it and I know it is in a filing cabinet in my father's home office. This is also somewhat important if the deceased shopped around frequently for CDs to get a better rate and moved them around a lot. My parents are in their 70s and have not told the kids what they have. However, I do my parents taxes so I have a pretty good idea. I also know' from passing conversation that the kids will inherit my father's IRAs when he passes rather than them going to my mother (I'm not sure why other than she doesn't need them).
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

oldfort wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:38 am What topics you discuss can reveal a lot about finances without giving exact numbers. For example, normal people don't worry about paying the federal estate tax. It's not relevant to their lives. If mom and dad start talking about minimizing the federal estate tax, then they expect to leave at a minimum $5M+ and with portability, $10M+ if they are married.
Perhaps I disappointed my children when I told them that in Massachusetts, $1M is the point at which you have to plan around taxes 😂
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
hnd
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by hnd »

my FIL is retired and sold a large business and we imagine did very well. He sat us down and went over EVERYTHING except for the numbers. Which i feel i appreciate because in the end, we have no idea what that number will end up being.
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FIREchief
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FIREchief »

oldfort wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:38 am What topics you discuss can reveal a lot about finances without giving exact numbers. For example, normal people don't worry about paying the federal estate tax. It's not relevant to their lives. If mom and dad start talking about minimizing the federal estate tax, then they expect to leave at a minimum $5M+ and with portability, $10M+ if they are married.
Actually, those numbers are now $11.58M and $23.16M, but are scheduled to revert by half in 2026. I'm guessing that is the period you are referring to. That said, unlike here on the forum, I can discuss potential tax law changes with my family. I have told them that the future estate tax thresholds are unknown, but there are some political camps that would like to reduce them drastically. Therefore, we can discuss federal estate tax issues without my actually tilting my hand. 8-)
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
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FIREchief
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FIREchief »

Dandy wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:19 am We started gifting "early inheritance" to our children and didn't want them to worry about our financial situation. Also, wanted to let them know some specifics as we are in our 70's and want them to keep an eye on our mental state. We did the discussion at age 70 and it went well. We were supposed to do it yearly but that hasn't happened.
That sounds like a good plan. I have thought that perhaps I would ask one of my adult children to start looking over my shoulder in January of each year (around age 70) as I execute the bulk of the annual transactions (Roth conversions, tax gain harvesting, repurchase at auction of maturing ten year TIPS, etc.). That would initially be educational, but later I would expect them to be able to detect confusion/deterioration in my financial cognitive abilities; at which point they could "take the wheel."
Next up is to finalize and discuss funeral related issues. Difficult topic at any time but especially with Covid concerns.
This one is quite easy in our situation. If there is a "Boglehead Burial Strategy," I'm likely close to it. No obituary. No funeral service. Pay the low cost crematorium to transfer the body and deliver the ashes in the lowest cost (i.e. tupperware) urn they offer. Optional memorial service / celebration of life a month later at our local church for anybody who wants to stop by for snacks and coffee and to say nice things about me (easy for some, not so easy for others :twisted: ).
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
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FIREchief
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FIREchief »

vested1 wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:04 am 2. COVID makes it more possible that we could die earlier than expected if one or both of us gets infected. Both of us have multiple risk factors that made the logic of dealing with this beforehand even more prudent.
While your statement may be true, I think everybody should approach estate planning as if there is some imminent threat of death. Could be COVID. Could be an unseen bus. Could be a car accident. Could be...... You get my point. 8-)
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
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FIREchief
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FIREchief »

A440 wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:12 am I'm fairly certain my soon to be college bound DS will get an idea of our financials when we fill out the FAFSA together this fall.
Does the FAFSA address net worth or just annual income? I filled one or two of those out, but it's been a long time ago. If just annual income, is it just broad ranges?
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
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jfn111
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by jfn111 »

I gave my 38 year old daughter a detailed list of where our accounts are in case we get hit by a bus. I didn't give her balances. I didn't want her to have to go on a scavenger hunt looking for our assets.
oldfort
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by oldfort »

FIREchief wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:04 am
oldfort wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:38 am What topics you discuss can reveal a lot about finances without giving exact numbers. For example, normal people don't worry about paying the federal estate tax. It's not relevant to their lives. If mom and dad start talking about minimizing the federal estate tax, then they expect to leave at a minimum $5M+ and with portability, $10M+ if they are married.
Actually, those numbers are now $11.58M and $23.16M, but are scheduled to revert by half in 2026. I'm guessing that is the period you are referring to. That said, unlike here on the forum, I can discuss potential tax law changes with my family. I have told them that the future estate tax thresholds are unknown, but there are some political camps that would like to reduce them drastically. Therefore, we can discuss federal estate tax issues without my actually tilting my hand. 8-)
I was referring to the exemption amounts which revert in 2026. As to what some political camps might want, some might want to lower the estate tax exemption, increase the GST, increase taxation of trust income, eliminate various trust tax deductions, or all the above. I don't see it as productive to worry about every theoretical permutation of the tax code, which could be enacted in the future.
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FIREchief
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FIREchief »

oldfort wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:27 am
FIREchief wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:04 am
oldfort wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:38 am What topics you discuss can reveal a lot about finances without giving exact numbers. For example, normal people don't worry about paying the federal estate tax. It's not relevant to their lives. If mom and dad start talking about minimizing the federal estate tax, then they expect to leave at a minimum $5M+ and with portability, $10M+ if they are married.
Actually, those numbers are now $11.58M and $23.16M, but are scheduled to revert by half in 2026. I'm guessing that is the period you are referring to. That said, unlike here on the forum, I can discuss potential tax law changes with my family. I have told them that the future estate tax thresholds are unknown, but there are some political camps that would like to reduce them drastically. Therefore, we can discuss federal estate tax issues without my actually tilting my hand. 8-)
I was referring to the exemption amounts which revert in 2026. As to what some political camps might want, some might want to lower the estate tax exemption, increase the GST, increase taxation of trust income, eliminate various trust tax deductions, or all the above. I don't see it as productive to worry about every theoretical permutation of the tax code, which could be enacted in the future.
I wasn't "worrying" about any of those. I was just responding to your suggestion that bringing up estate tax somehow gives potential heirs a good idea of overall estate value.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

In our safe is an envelope that contains my master password to a password keeper. I need to put a copy in the safe deposit box.

That password allows one to access our Quicken file and all of our accounts. The Quicken file is also backed up to the cloud, which kids know. The attorney also knows account numbers and locations.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
oldfort
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by oldfort »

FIREchief wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:18 am
A440 wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:12 am I'm fairly certain my soon to be college bound DS will get an idea of our financials when we fill out the FAFSA together this fall.
Does the FAFSA address net worth or just annual income? I filled one or two of those out, but it's been a long time ago. If just annual income, is it just broad ranges?
FAFSA looks at assets, although it's ad hoc what's included and what's not. Bank account balances are included. Retirement accounts are not. Annual income is exact, not a broad range. The CSS Profile, used by most private colleges, is more comprehensive. Your primary home is excluded.
Last edited by oldfort on Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
oldfort
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by oldfort »

FIREchief wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:31 am
oldfort wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:27 am
FIREchief wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:04 am
oldfort wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:38 am What topics you discuss can reveal a lot about finances without giving exact numbers. For example, normal people don't worry about paying the federal estate tax. It's not relevant to their lives. If mom and dad start talking about minimizing the federal estate tax, then they expect to leave at a minimum $5M+ and with portability, $10M+ if they are married.
Actually, those numbers are now $11.58M and $23.16M, but are scheduled to revert by half in 2026. I'm guessing that is the period you are referring to. That said, unlike here on the forum, I can discuss potential tax law changes with my family. I have told them that the future estate tax thresholds are unknown, but there are some political camps that would like to reduce them drastically. Therefore, we can discuss federal estate tax issues without my actually tilting my hand. 8-)
I was referring to the exemption amounts which revert in 2026. As to what some political camps might want, some might want to lower the estate tax exemption, increase the GST, increase taxation of trust income, eliminate various trust tax deductions, or all the above. I don't see it as productive to worry about every theoretical permutation of the tax code, which could be enacted in the future.
I wasn't "worrying" about any of those. I was just responding to your suggestion that bringing up estate tax somehow gives potential heirs a good idea of overall estate value.
I think most heirs will assume you wouldn't have brought it up unless it was an issue under the existing tax code. Their assumption might be wrong, but that's what they'll think unless you explicitly tell them otherwise.
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FIREchief
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FIREchief »

oldfort wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:39 am
FIREchief wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:31 am
oldfort wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:27 am
FIREchief wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:04 am
oldfort wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:38 am What topics you discuss can reveal a lot about finances without giving exact numbers. For example, normal people don't worry about paying the federal estate tax. It's not relevant to their lives. If mom and dad start talking about minimizing the federal estate tax, then they expect to leave at a minimum $5M+ and with portability, $10M+ if they are married.
Actually, those numbers are now $11.58M and $23.16M, but are scheduled to revert by half in 2026. I'm guessing that is the period you are referring to. That said, unlike here on the forum, I can discuss potential tax law changes with my family. I have told them that the future estate tax thresholds are unknown, but there are some political camps that would like to reduce them drastically. Therefore, we can discuss federal estate tax issues without my actually tilting my hand. 8-)
I was referring to the exemption amounts which revert in 2026. As to what some political camps might want, some might want to lower the estate tax exemption, increase the GST, increase taxation of trust income, eliminate various trust tax deductions, or all the above. I don't see it as productive to worry about every theoretical permutation of the tax code, which could be enacted in the future.
I wasn't "worrying" about any of those. I was just responding to your suggestion that bringing up estate tax somehow gives potential heirs a good idea of overall estate value.
I think most heirs will assume you wouldn't have brought it up unless it was an issue under the existing tax code. Their assumption might be wrong, but that's what they'll think unless you explicitly tell them otherwise.
Yes, that's why I explicitly told them otherwise.
I have told them that the future estate tax thresholds are unknown, but there are some political camps that would like to reduce them drastically.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
NotWhoYouThink
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

It probably should be a continuum of discussion.

In grade school and middle school they should probably know whether you are living on the brink or are on solid footing. They may know if you are on the brink based on family discussions of whether certain bills can be paid or whether you have to wait for your paycheck to clear to buy the groceries. If you are on solid footing they should hear that from you. Some of their friends' families are probably on the brink, and kids worry a lot. If you can keep them from worrying about that particular thing you should.

In high school they need to know your ability and willingness to pay for college. If 4 years at a private university followed by med school wouldn't slow down your retirement plans, and you would be happy to spend money that way, they should know that. If community college followed by the regional State U would be a strain on your budget, they should know that. If you don't think your finances are any of their business and you don't plan to help at all with college funding, they should know that.

When they are in college or the military or whatever comes after high school they probably don't need to hear much more from you about your finances, but should be thinking about how they are going to support themselves.

As they get started in their careers and you can speak with them as adults, they should probably get some rough idea of your circumstances, because they may be wondering whether you are going to help them with a down payment on a house, or whether they should plan on having to support you when you can't work any more. If you don't tell them they'll guess, and guessing wrong could lead them to some decisions that are less than optimal.

Of course learning you have piles of money can lead to some unfortunate behavior too. If you plan to leave it all to charity, let them know. It would be mean to let them know you have piles of money, but have them be surprised to find none of it is coming their way. Nothing wrong with giving it away to good causes, but surprising your family by doing that is mean.
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by TallBoy29er »

I'd like to chime in here with a tool that I've just begun using myself, that I now consider a lifeline to anyone who has to come in after me and understand my financial situation. We have begun using LastPass as a password vault (I like LastPass, but this is a conceptual point, not so much product specific). We pay for a family plan (maybe $39/yr), and my wife and I can share passwords with each other. I have setup a "Shared Financial" folder, that includes logins and passwords to all of our accounts. I have also shared my email account with her in this way, as this has become a critical piece to running our family (financial statements, account recovery for financial accounts, etc.).

As a bonus, I have configured it so that others can request access to my password vault, and if I do not decline in a certain time period, they receive it. In the case my wife and I both become incapacitated, I know that there is a trusted person who can gain access to what is necessary.

I share this as it has given me a peace of mind that I did not have prior. I used to store all of this info on a sheet of paper (the cheat sheet), but that had its own issues: Keeping it up to date, giving access to an emergency contact, etc.
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FIREchief
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FIREchief »

TallBoy29er wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:47 am As a bonus, I have configured it so that others can request access to my password vault, and if I do not decline in a certain time period, they receive it. In the case my wife and I both become incapacitated, I know that there is a trusted person who can gain access to what is necessary.
Really?! :oops:

That said, there is absolutely no reason that my wife, heirs, or anybody else will need to recover my financial account credentials after my death (nor should they). There are procedures for properly authorized (as joint owner, successor trustee, DPOA, etc.) individuals to gain access to my financial accounts upon my incapacitation or death.

Now, if they want to check the electric bill, that's a different matter. 8-)
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
michaeljc70
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by michaeljc70 »

FIREchief wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:54 am
TallBoy29er wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:47 am As a bonus, I have configured it so that others can request access to my password vault, and if I do not decline in a certain time period, they receive it. In the case my wife and I both become incapacitated, I know that there is a trusted person who can gain access to what is necessary.
Really?! :oops:

That said, there is absolutely no reason that my wife, heirs, or anybody else will need to recover my financial account credentials after my death (nor should they). There are procedures for properly authorized (as joint owner, successor trustee, DPOA, etc.) individuals to gain access to my financial accounts upon my incapacitation or death.

Now, if they want to check the electric bill, that's a different matter. 8-)
Yep. I also don't want my spouse or whoever it winds up being reading my emails or stuff I post anonymously online that may or may not be about them. :shock: Not that there would be anything terribly shocking, but if I wanted them to see it I'd give them the passwords right now.
TallBoy29er
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by TallBoy29er »

FIREchief wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:54 am
TallBoy29er wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:47 am As a bonus, I have configured it so that others can request access to my password vault, and if I do not decline in a certain time period, they receive it. In the case my wife and I both become incapacitated, I know that there is a trusted person who can gain access to what is necessary.
Really?! :oops:

That said, there is absolutely no reason that my wife, heirs, or anybody else will need to recover my financial account credentials after my death (nor should they). There are procedures for properly authorized (as joint owner, successor trustee, DPOA, etc.) individuals to gain access to my financial accounts upon my incapacitation or death.

Now, if they want to check the electric bill, that's a different matter. 8-)
I figured this would raise eyebrows. But yes, it is the case. I figure if I can't trust the person who would take care of my young kids in our demise, I have other issues. To each his own. There's detail differences b/w your and my solutions, but the end result is quite similar.

As a side note, this is analogous to TomatoTomahto's solution above. Seems fair to say that with a password list in a safe, someone presumably needs the combo to the safe to get in. My solution is virtual. His is physical. I like 'em both.

I've gone through the other side of this equation with loved ones. I wish we had put something like this in place.
TallBoy29er
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by TallBoy29er »

michaeljc70 wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:00 pm
FIREchief wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:54 am
TallBoy29er wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:47 am As a bonus, I have configured it so that others can request access to my password vault, and if I do not decline in a certain time period, they receive it. In the case my wife and I both become incapacitated, I know that there is a trusted person who can gain access to what is necessary.
Really?! :oops:

That said, there is absolutely no reason that my wife, heirs, or anybody else will need to recover my financial account credentials after my death (nor should they). There are procedures for properly authorized (as joint owner, successor trustee, DPOA, etc.) individuals to gain access to my financial accounts upon my incapacitation or death.

Now, if they want to check the electric bill, that's a different matter. 8-)
Yep. I also don't want my spouse or whoever it winds up being reading my emails or stuff I post anonymously online that may or may not be about them. :shock: Not that there would be anything terribly shocking, but if I wanted them to see it I'd give them the passwords right now.
I could not care less about that. Read away. But they may need caffeine to stay awake. :beer
hnd
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by hnd »

oldfort wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:38 am
What topics you discuss can reveal a lot about finances without giving exact numbers. For example, normal people don't worry about paying the federal estate tax. It's not relevant to their lives. If mom and dad start talking about minimizing the federal estate tax, then they expect to leave at a minimum $5M+ and with portability, $10M+ if they are married.
Ha! This is exactly right. When my FIL mentioned having separate trusts, i stopped him and asked if my wife and I should do the same. he was like you shouldn't need to do that until your assets are over 5M and I was like okiedokie.
willing2try
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by willing2try »

flaccidsteele wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:47 am
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?

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.
+1 this

We talk finances all the time. There’s no reason for our kid not to know
+2 I'm 59 and step daughter is 30. Once a year I review DW and my portfolio with SD. I review the accounts so that she knows where to find our $ if something unexpected happens to us. I review the amounts so that she realizes just how much $ it takes to comfortably retire before you're 60. I can't fathom wanting to hide this information from grown, responsible kids.
delamer
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by delamer »

FIREchief wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:14 am
Dandy wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:19 am We started gifting "early inheritance" to our children and didn't want them to worry about our financial situation. Also, wanted to let them know some specifics as we are in our 70's and want them to keep an eye on our mental state. We did the discussion at age 70 and it went well. We were supposed to do it yearly but that hasn't happened.
That sounds like a good plan. I have thought that perhaps I would ask one of my adult children to start looking over my shoulder in January of each year (around age 70) as I execute the bulk of the annual transactions (Roth conversions, tax gain harvesting, repurchase at auction of maturing ten year TIPS, etc.). That would initially be educational, but later I would expect them to be able to detect confusion/deterioration in my financial cognitive abilities; at which point they could "take the wheel."
Next up is to finalize and discuss funeral related issues. Difficult topic at any time but especially with Covid concerns.
This one is quite easy in our situation. If there is a "Boglehead Burial Strategy," I'm likely close to it. No obituary. No funeral service. Pay the low cost crematorium to transfer the body and deliver the ashes in the lowest cost (i.e. tupperware) urn they offer. Optional memorial service / celebration of life a month later at our local church for anybody who wants to stop by for snacks and coffee and to say nice things about me (easy for some, not so easy for others :twisted: ).
My body will go to medical research, as I’ll have no use for it.
delamer
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by delamer »

FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:45 am
pennywise wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:20 am
FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:06 pm
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.
From what you write, it sounds like your FIL is telling his daughter he wants to leave her some money but his will leaves the estate to his wife, in which case there is no "fight to honor his intentions" because he also has let you know he has no intention of changing his will. You certainly can't change it for him post mortem based on something he said before he died.

So his intentions seem pretty clear: he thinks his wife is a spendthrift and the money will go to his wife. I can't imagine any court overturning a valid will with assets left to a spouse in favor of their children other than in some dire situation of mental or physical problems, but maybe I misunderstood your statement?

Otherwise as a wise man once said a verbal commitment ain't worth the paper it's printed on :wink:
I wasn't quite clear - I do believe money is willed to my wife. I suppose the "fight" will be verifying whether or not we actually have a valid claim. I'm not sure how things work when one passes, and we're concerned that wife's mom might attempt to stonewall us.
If that is your concern, then your wife needs to have her own attorney on speed dial when her father dies.

If she isn’t willing to have representation because it might affect her relationship with her mother, then she’ll need to live with the (potential) stonewalling or other mistreatment.
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FIREchief
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FIREchief »

delamer wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:18 pm
FIREchief wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:14 am
Dandy wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:19 am We started gifting "early inheritance" to our children and didn't want them to worry about our financial situation. Also, wanted to let them know some specifics as we are in our 70's and want them to keep an eye on our mental state. We did the discussion at age 70 and it went well. We were supposed to do it yearly but that hasn't happened.
That sounds like a good plan. I have thought that perhaps I would ask one of my adult children to start looking over my shoulder in January of each year (around age 70) as I execute the bulk of the annual transactions (Roth conversions, tax gain harvesting, repurchase at auction of maturing ten year TIPS, etc.). That would initially be educational, but later I would expect them to be able to detect confusion/deterioration in my financial cognitive abilities; at which point they could "take the wheel."
Next up is to finalize and discuss funeral related issues. Difficult topic at any time but especially with Covid concerns.
This one is quite easy in our situation. If there is a "Boglehead Burial Strategy," I'm likely close to it. No obituary. No funeral service. Pay the low cost crematorium to transfer the body and deliver the ashes in the lowest cost (i.e. tupperware) urn they offer. Optional memorial service / celebration of life a month later at our local church for anybody who wants to stop by for snacks and coffee and to say nice things about me (easy for some, not so easy for others :twisted: ).
My body will go to medical research, as I’ll have no use for it.
Even better!! :beer
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
knowledge
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by knowledge »

Now that the parents and the in-laws are starting to get to their 70s, I am concerned about cognitive decline. So, ideally the conversations would start now with the benefit being that if something were to happen, we know where to look and not spend months unwinding things. I'm not giving thought to an inheritance, I know not to expect one with my parents and I'm in a better financial situation than my in-laws are, so not counting on that.

If I knew that a material inheritance was possible? I don't think it would change my life. If it was quite sizable, perhaps I would go after larger upside opportunities, but I don't think it would cause me to be complacent. So, without knowing the relationship and situation with one's children, it's hard to give broad, general guidance. But I would say if you're worried about any potential cognitive decline, a financial map should be made and shared.
retire2022
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by retire2022 »

Op

Just wanted to make everyone who resides in New York State, that their banking law requires a Court Order from Surrogate Court to open the safety deposit box.

It will be a problem if the Power of Attorney, Will or Trust documents are located in the safety deposit box.

It was discussed previously in this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=153851

https://law.justia.com/codes/new-york/2 ... _2003.html

US Law US Codes and Statutes New York Code 2006 New York Code Surrogate\'s Court Procedure Proceeding To Open Safe Deposit Box Opening Safe Deposit Box

2006 New York Code - Opening Safe Deposit Box

§ 2003. Opening safe deposit box
1. When it appears to the court by petition that a person, firm or
corporation has in its possession or under its control papers of a
decedent of whose estate the court has jurisdiction or that the decedent
has leased from them a safe deposit box and that such papers or safe
deposit box may contain a will of the decedent, a deed to a burial plot
in which the decedent is to be interred or a policy of insurance issued
in the name of the decedent and payable to a designated beneficiary, it
may make an order ex parte directing such person, firm or corporation to
permit a person named in the order to examine the papers or safe deposit
box and to make an inventory of the papers or of the contents of the
safe deposit box in the presence of an authorized employee or agent of
such person, firm or corporation, and if a paper purporting to be a will
of the decedent, a deed to the burial plot or a policy of insurance be
found to deliver the will to the clerk of the court, personally or by
registered mail as directed by the court or the deed to the person
designated in the order or the policy of insurance to the beneficiary
named therein. The clerk shall furnish a receipt upon delivery to him
of the will.
2. Notwithstanding any provisions of subdivision one of this section,
a safe deposit company, trust company, bank, corporation, firm or other
person, having in its possession, or under its control one or more safe
deposit boxes shall permit an individual or individuals each of whom
being a joint lessee with the decedent of said safe deposit box or
boxes, or a deputy authorized by the decedent to have access to said
safe deposit box or boxes, to examine and make copies of, in the
presence and under the supervision of an officer of the company, bank,
corporation or firm, any paper or papers found in said safe deposit box
or boxes bearing upon the desire of the deceased as to the disposal of
his remains, or deed to a cemetery plot, or proof of membership in a
burial society. For purposes of this subdivision, the term "deputy"
shall mean the person who had access to the decedent's safe deposit box
or boxes and to the contents thereof on the last day of decedent's life.
After copies have been made of the paper or papers described in this
subdivision, the original paper or papers shall be resealed in the safe
deposit box or boxes and such officer shall certify that such papers
have been resealed and file such certification with the surrogate's
court

In my mother's case, this was a big problem because she was the Primary box holder and I was the Secondary, in NYS it is called a Deputy and from what I understand it is not the same as Joint Account Holder.

My mother was an immigrant and it took a lot of convincing for me to change the location of the Bank Branch (closer to where she lived).

She did not trust me with the box, she didn't like the change from her to me as the Primary but me being 30 Years younger than her, the chance of me out living her was greater. She did not trust anyone, she left $14K cash all over her apartment.

She died this year and the branch was closing and forgot where the key was.

best
Last edited by retire2022 on Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FIREchief
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Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FIREchief »

retire2022 wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:58 pm Op

Just wanted to make everyone who resides in New York State, that their banking law requires a Court Order from Surrogate Court to open the safety deposit box.

It will be a problem if the Power of Attorney, Will or Trust documents are located in the safety deposit box.

It was discussed previously in this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=153851

In my mother's case, this was a big problem because she was the Primary box holder and I was the Secondary, in NYS it is called a Deputy and from what I understand it is not the same as Joint Account Holder.

My mother was an immigrant and it took a lot of convincing for me to change the location of the Bank Branch (closer to where she lived)

She did not trust me with the box, nor did she trust anyone, she left $14K cash all over her apartment.

She died this year and the branch was closing and forgot where the key was.

best
Readers take note!! We've seen several posts suggesting that they would make certain that their survivors could find the key. It's a lot more than that. As I posted earlier in this thread, at my bank (a Major Megabank) it was simple to add our adult children to our safe deposit box signature card. I had each one "exercise" this to ensure that they would actually be allowed to open the box (successful in all cases). I asked the branch manager if they would be able to do this if DW or I had passed. She said they wouldn't typically know/check/care. That said, all important physical estate planning documents are stored in a fire safe in a location that is much easier to access. There is a flash drive in the safe deposit box with electronic copies, and in our state such a copy is considered valid (I don't believe this is true in all states).
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
FeesR-BullNotBullish
Posts: 232
Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 11:22 am

Re: When should one share financials with their children?

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish »

delamer wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:27 pm
FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:45 am
pennywise wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:20 am
FeesR-BullNotBullish wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:06 pm
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.
From what you write, it sounds like your FIL is telling his daughter he wants to leave her some money but his will leaves the estate to his wife, in which case there is no "fight to honor his intentions" because he also has let you know he has no intention of changing his will. You certainly can't change it for him post mortem based on something he said before he died.

So his intentions seem pretty clear: he thinks his wife is a spendthrift and the money will go to his wife. I can't imagine any court overturning a valid will with assets left to a spouse in favor of their children other than in some dire situation of mental or physical problems, but maybe I misunderstood your statement?

Otherwise as a wise man once said a verbal commitment ain't worth the paper it's printed on :wink:
I wasn't quite clear - I do believe money is willed to my wife. I suppose the "fight" will be verifying whether or not we actually have a valid claim. I'm not sure how things work when one passes, and we're concerned that wife's mom might attempt to stonewall us.
If that is your concern, then your wife needs to have her own attorney on speed dial when her father dies.

If she isn’t willing to have representation because it might affect her relationship with her mother, then she’ll need to live with the (potential) stonewalling or other mistreatment.
Thank you for your advice. It hadn't occurred to me that we might need legal representation; I figured we could verify for ourselves whether the money was properly willed to us. We'll pull up that email and ponder our next steps.
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