If you are in the process of creating an estate plan, or if you have already have one, deciding on how you will distribute money among beneficiaries can be a daunting task. After all, leaving a legacy is one of the most important things a person can do for his or her family. With many baby boomers poised to leave more than $30 trillion to heirs over the next 30 years, is a good problem to have.
But emotionally, the problem of how to distribute money may not be so easy given the emotional ties you have. As such, the following tips may make the process easier.
Keep things equal – Every child wants to believe that they are loved equally; both when their parents are with them and when they are gone. Making equal distributions from your estate to children can be the easiest way to avoid sibling battles.
Create a trust – If you have concerns about children spending money quickly (and unwisely), a trust may be the best way to avoid that problem. Through a trust, money could be managed by an impartial trustee and distributed in a manner that will allow children to be saved from themselves.
Manage expectations – It is natural for children to believe that their parents have a great deal of money and property to distribute. However, a recent survey indicated that many children underestimated their parents’ worth. While this may ultimately be a benefit to heirs, many believe that they will not receive much, and are worried about it. To put their minds at ease, managing their expectations through clear and frank communications may be necessary.
If you have additional questions about leaving an inheritance, an experienced estate planning attorney can help.