When preparing a financial plan for a client, especially one with adult children and possibly grandchildren, the two questions I usually ask are (the first a little tongue in cheek):
“When are you planning to die?” and “How much money do you want to leave your children?”
I rarely get a straight answer to the second question, nor is it unusual to hear substantially different answers from a husband and wife.
Nothing can match the ferocity occasionally engendered among beneficiaries of a will, usually close relatives, who think someone else got more than they did and, in their opinion, deserved less.
On a couple of occasions I have encouraged clients to provide a (tax deductible) gift while still alive to their church or the Salvation Army. The attention they receive after such action is significantly more effective than post funeral gratitude.