Russ Cook & Associates, PC
view our Practice areas

How to talk to your adult children about your estate plan

While your children are young, you may choose not to share specifics of your will with them. However, once they are old enough to understand the complexities of your estate plan, you may choose to discuss the conditions of the document with them.

This will prepare their expectations in case tragedy strikes. Here are a few tips for this conversation.

Have a sit-down discussion

The way things will be managed after your passing is a very serious topic. If your child has always had you to look to for guidance and comfort, then it's important that you prepare him or her to handle the seriousness of the situation when you're not there to help.

Try sitting down with your child to initiate the conversation. This will make an impression on your child, which can help keep him or her from being caught off guard if a tragic situation happens.

Talk numbers

When discussing your estate plan, it's important to be clear about the assets they should expect to inherit. Leaving out numbers and being vague about this expectation has led to fighting among beneficiaries.

Being specific about inheritance ahead of time can keep someone from thinking they should be entitled to more than they got. Otherwise, this thinking can result in extended probate proceedings and lasting family feuds.

Establish roles

You should also set your children's expectations for who will handle what upon your passing. Go over the possible scenarios of who would handle which roles if you pass, your spouse passes or there is a medical emergency.

That means discussing who you are appointing to handle your financial and healthcare decisions if you become incapacitated. In this discussion, you may want to mention your views on whether you'd like to receive life-support in a medical emergency.

You should also address who should be the executor of your estate and express any wishes you have about how you'd like your child to spend their inheritance. By going through specifics such as these, your adult children will have a clear picture of your wishes and how your will reflects them.

Remember it's your will

You may find that your children have objections to some of your decisions. It's important to remember that your will is all about what you want. For example, you should put money in your pet fund or donate to charity if that's what you want to do, despite your child's opinion.

However, you should also respect how involved your children want to be. For example, if your child does not want to be your executor or take care of your pet after your passing, you shouldn't appoint them for these duties.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

  • Star

    “I recently moved to TN from MN and needed to re-do my trust documents, including a pet trust, to be compliant with TN law, and to find an entity able to act as my trustee. Russ and his staff were able to answer all of my questions quickly and efficiently, and I am comfortable and confident in Russ's representation and that my new documents will act as they are intended, when the time comes. They even put me in touch with a trustee who was involved in the process as well, which was so helpful. This was a big item on my move "to-do" list, and I am so pleased to have it completed!”

    - Kim J.
  • Star

    “We would definitely recommend Russ and any of his Associates. They are all very professional, efficient and well versed in Estate Planning.”

    - Cheryl H.
  • Star

    “Experienced, Knowledgeable, Friendly, Professionals all work here. I'm grateful my parents used this firm to create and maintain their Trust throughout the years. Working with the folks at Russ Cook & Associates, primarily Alex, Debby and Trina made the process comfortable working through Probate, Estate assets and Executing the Trust.”

    - Kemp S.
  • Star

    “Excellent work. They worked with us and never allowed us to miss a deadline. We definitely appreciated their help and would gladly recommend them to anyone seeking help with their estate planning.”

    - Mark S.
  • Star

    “Everyone we came in contact with was wonderful. The staff and Russ treated us like family at all times.”

    - June S.
  • Star

    “Being new to the area having moved from out of state, I was searching for an attorney to assist in elder estate planning for my mother. I was referred to Russ Cook & Associates and found the firm as a whole and Russ Cook himself to be very helpful and accommodating to my needs, as well as experienced and very knowledgeable on the matter I was seeking assistance. I would definitely recommend Russ Cook and Associates.”

    - Brad H.
  • Star

    “Mr. Cook and his staff were phenomenal to work with on my will. They are extremely professional and friendly and made the process seamless. They go above and beyond!”

    - Amber C.
  • Star

    “Russ took the time to answer my questions by email, so that I knew exactly what would take place when I visited his office and his time as well as mine was used efficiently. I appreciated his thoroughness and his professionalism, as well as that of his staff.”

    - JoAnn G.
  • Star

    “Overwhelmingly positive experience.”

    - Stephen W.
  • Star

    “I have been a client for many years. Russ and his staff listen to our concerns, come up with a plan and help us act on it with guidance and professionalism. I'd highly recommend Russ Cook and Associates.”

    - Dr. S. D'Amico
Email Us For A Response

Schedule An Initial Consultation Today

Contact us today to schedule a consultation by sending us an email or by calling 615-200-9117.
We assist clients throughout the Nashville area.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Brand Contact

5141 Virginia Way
Suite 220
Brentwood, TN 37027

Phone: 615-200-9117
Fax: 615-370-5938
Brentwood Law Office Map

Office Hours:
Monday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Summer Hours Office:
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM on Fridays
May 24th Through August 30th

Map Image