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Planning an estate when you have adult children

As you are developing an estate plan, there are many questions that will come up. If you have adult children, the questions that you might struggle with the most are those that revolve around what each child should get. This is often something that can lead to serious disputes down the road.

It is easy to get caught up in the issue of whether the division should be equal or equitable. Ultimately, the choice is yours to make. You might want to provide a little extra financial security to a child who isn't as stable as another child. This is something that is understandable from a parenting standpoint, but the adult children might not see it the same way.

When there are substantial amounts of money or assets in question, the adult children might turn into the equivalent of kindergartners fighting over a toy. This is one of those situations where no matter what you do, someone might be upset.

One thing that you can do is to determine how you want things divided now. Gather the children together or speak to them individually to let them know the reasoning behind your decision. This gives them a chance to ask questions, but it also gives them a chance to get used to the way that your estate plan is set up.

One thing that you don't want to do is to cause a rift between the siblings when you are gone. This is a time when they should come together. Preparing them for what is to come is one way that you might be able to prevent a sibling war over the estate plan.

Source: Forbes, "Aging Parents, Entitled Kids, Unequal Inheritance: Recipe For Fights," Carolyn Rosenblatt, accessed July 26, 2017

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