Estate Planning Series

Are You Ready to Discuss Your Estate Plan With Your Children?

3 min read

Brought to you by Sound Choices - AGF Education for Investors and Advisors

For many people, estate planning is an extremely private, and even upsetting, topic. While it can be difficult to initiate the conversation, families that are able to openly discuss these delicate issues can avoid unwanted surprises down the road. Letting your children know your intentions and reasoning about your estate will help to reduce potential family conflict and might even result in a better plan.

Although the conversation is a crucial one, it’s not always easy to initiate. Here are a few tips and guidelines to ensure your discussion is productive.

1. Review Your Estate Plan Beforehand

It’s important to first review your estate plan on your own in order to establish key points of discussion and identify any sensitive issues. Depending on family dynamics, it might also be beneficial to consider having a series of individual talks prior to bringing everyone together.

 2. Set a Date for Discussion

Springing such a sensitive topic on unprepared family members is rarely a good idea. Instead, pick a time and date (in a comfortable environment) so that everyone will be emotionally ready for the discussion.

3. Explain Your Reasoning Clearly and Fully

When your children understand the principles guiding your estate decisions, there is less likelihood for potential conflict between siblings.

4. Be Flexible

While there’s no obligation to change your estate plan, be willing to listen to your children’s concerns. Leaving the family cottage to the child who used it most might seem like a good idea. However, that child might actually view the property as a burden (or a potential source of resentment) and prefer that it be shared equally.

To learn more about estate planning, talk to your financial advisor.


This material is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not a recommendation of any specific investment product, strategy, or decision, and is not intended to suggest taking or refraining from any course of action. It is not intended to address the needs, circumstances, and objectives of any specific investor. This information is not meant as tax or legal advice. Investors should consult a financial advisor and/or tax professional before making investment, financial and/or tax-related decisions.


® ™ The “AGF” logo and all associated trademarks are registered trademarks or trademarks of AGF Management Limited and used under licence.

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Published November 16, 2023