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What your children have learned can dictate your estate plan

You're setting up your estate plan, and you aren't sure exactly what the best course of action is for dividing your assets between your children. One key thing to consider is exactly what your children have learned over the years, as they've grown from childhood into adulthood.

Obviously, a big part of this is money management. Kids who have learned to save and be responsible may be able to handle a large inheritance, for example, while children who have not learned these skills may need to have the money put into a trust so that guidelines can be laid down regarding how the money can be used.

Your own values are also key. If your children have learned what your values are and taken them on as well, they may naturally do as you wish with the money, and you won't have to worry as much. For instance, if providing money to charities is something you've always loved, kids may be very open to a plan that passes some of the assets on to these organizations.

What the children know about your assets is also important, so open communication at this time is wise. Problems can arise when kids' assumptions don't line up with reality. For instance, children who thought they'd all be given a million dollars may be distraught to learn after you pass away that they're only getting $100,000. Have these conversations in advance so that they are on the same page as you.

Every family in Nebraska is different, and so every estate plan will also be different. Make sure you know what options there are and how best to use them with your family.

Source: Time, "The Hardest Part of Making a Will: Telling Your Kids What’s in It," Rick Kahler, accessed Sep. 01, 2016

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