It is fairly common for parents to plan to have their children play key roles related to them in the future. However, it appears it may be less common for parents to inform their children of these plans. This is what a survey that Fidelity Investments took of certain parents and adult children points to.
When asked whether they expect to have one of their kids fill certain roles in the future:
- 69 percent of surveyed parents answered yes when it came to the role of managing finances/investments in the future.
- 72 percent of surveyed parents answered yes when it came to the role of handling retirement-age long-term care if needed.
- 92 percent of surveyed parents answered yes when it came to the role of executor of their estate.
The survey found that quite a few adult children who had been identified for these roles were unaware their parents were expecting them to serve these roles. Such lack of knowledge was present among 36 percent, 40 percent and 27 percent of the adult children identified for the roles of future management of investment/finances, future long-term care help and future estate executor, respectively.
So, it appears it is not that uncommon for parents and kids to not be on the same page when it comes to what roles the parents anticipate their kids serving in the future.
When there is such a disconnect, it could result in an adult child being caught off-guard when the time for a certain role to be filled comes and they find their parent picked them for this role. This could have some significant implications. For example, one of the things an adult child being caught off-guard about being named as a personal representative in a parent’s will could lead to is the child refusing to accept the role, leading to it being filled by someone other than who the parent had planned.
This is why what roles they plan on having their kids serve in the future is among the things parents may want to have a conversation in advance about with their kids.
Experienced attorneys can advise individuals on issues related to naming people for key future roles (like personal representative) in their estate plan, such as issues related to naming one’s children for such roles.
Source: Forbes, “What Millennials Wish Their Boomer Parents Would Tell Them,” Richard Eisenberg, June 28, 2016