I get asked this question a lot and I think the answer is "It Depends." It depends on your age, your health, how old your children are, and how responsible they are with their own money. There is a good chance that someday your children may need to help you manage your finances. I think this is fair; after all, think of all the time you spent helping them manage their lives – nurturing them, educating them and providing them with a good home and the structure they needed to become independent and build their futures. Also, when you pass away there is a good chance that they will inherit what you fail to spend. There is almost always some money left over even if you intended to spend every dollar. Below is a checklist of what you may want to provide to your adult children regarding your financial lives. Each one of our clients at Harwood Financial has an investment book, typically a three-ring, black leather binder. I recommend that you write a letter that goes in the front of the book that contains all the important information your children may need. In the front of my investment book I have a letter to my wife, Ana, and my children. It explains how I have set up our trust and finances and who to contact should the need occur. I have a trust, my IRAs are set up Multi-Generationally and I pretty much have taken care of everything that is necessary should something unexpected happen. I have a copy of this letter in my office and would like to make it available to anyone that has an interest in including a letter to your family in your Investment book, I think it is a good idea, and if you have any questions about your transition plan or how to make sure all of these sorts of things are taken care of, please give me a call. My goal is to help keep your financial house in order and having a transition strategy is important.
Here is the list of items you may want to consider sharing with your children.