Of course, if one is incapacitated in some way or has special needs, like autism, you may want to provide additional financial assistance through a special needs trust, an insurance policy or a larger portion of the estate.That brings me back to the family meeting about your estate plans.Otherwise, if the kids find out when the will is read, you might unleash a tsunami of emotions, which could have largely been avoided through advance conversations.By explaining to all your kids why one child will be given a larger share and writing a will that says, in effect, “I love you all just as much, but this is what we felt we had to do as parents,” you may avoid bad feelings and the possibility of a contested will."The whole process wasn’t particularly acrimonious. But after the divorce, my kids seemed really distant, as if they were blaming me.” (MORE: How to Tell Your Adult Children You're Divorcing) Psychologist Joshua Coleman, Ph.
The Family Estate Planning Meeting After the discussion about personal property, you may want to have an attorney draft a simple summary of your estate plans and distribute it to your heirs.In far too many families, money is a dirty word, a taboo subject, what I call the M word.But in my experience, one of the most common conflicts among family members arises when they are probating an estate that hasn’t been previously discussed.‘What’s the best way to tell our grown children about our estate plans without creating a family drama?” That’s the question I’m most often asked when I tell people I’ve written a new book about money, family and communications, It’s no wonder: More than trillion will be transferred to the next generation between 20.That’s because one of the most contentious aspects of settling an estate can be the distribution of things like Mom’s diamond engagement ring, Dad’s collection of abstract expressionist artwork or Great-Grandma’s gold-plated china.This is just as true for items that aren’t worth much money, but have a great deal of sentimental value.But no matter how skilled a pro you invite, remember that you’re the one ultimately responsible for ensuring a successful transfer of your estate.Tracey Whitestone was visiting her 29-year-old son, Adam (names have been changed), in his new condo.During the session, speak in a calming tone and use such words words as “safety,” “security” and “protection.” If the environment gets toxic, don’t lash out or shut down out of fear, anger, embarrassment, defensiveness or any other unpleasant feeling. Should thorny issues arise, try to come up with solutions.It can be helpful to have a trusted adviser — like your accountant, attorney or financial planner — at this family meeting, to help ensure an atmosphere of tolerance, patience and impartiality.