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Talk to your children if you decide to downsize

| Apr 5, 2019 | Estate Planning |

Many people like to downsize as they reach retirement age. With the kids out of the house, they do not need nearly as much space. They want to get rid of the clutter they have gathered over the decades. They may want to move into a neighborhood with additional services for things that become harder in old age — like cutting the grass or shoveling snow.

One thing to keep in mind is that your family may not be thrilled about the move. It is important to talk to them so that everyone understands what’s happening and is on the same page.

“Sometimes family members are in varying degrees of acceptance,” said one expert. “That’s the most important piece: being aligned in respect to what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.”

For instance, maybe your children wanted to inherit the family home when you passed away. They have fond memories of it as the only place they grew up. If you sell the house and buy a condo, are they going to feel like their childhood has been lost? Will they be frustrated that the sale changes your estate plan? If you now have a smaller home and you have to get rid of a lot of assets, do some of those have sentimental value to the kids? They may have hoped to inherit things like artwork, furniture, cars, boats, and even simple, everyday things like a set of dishes.

This isn’t to say you can’t downsize, but you just need to consider the impact it has on your family and how it may change your estate planning moving forward.