4 Tips for Deciding on Inheritances

Deciding who should get what in your estate plan can be very challenging. If you have several children, loved ones, or other beneficiaries whom you would like to benefit from your plan, how do you decide who should get what? What portion should they get? Who should be left out? These are all questions that you should consider before you start drafting your estate plan. Below are a few tips to get the process started.

  1.   Consider estate planning tools beyond your will.

When deciding who should get what, some individuals overlook the fact that a will cannot do certain things. Many times you will have to go beyond drafting a will in order to cover everyone you intend to cover. The most common examples of these estate planning tools include:

  • Life insurance policies
  • Retirement accounts
  • Joint bank accounts
  • Real estate held as joint tenants

If you have three children and no surviving spouse, for example, it may not make sense for you to leave everything equally to the children in your will if one child is going to receive all of your life insurance proceeds.

Map out whom you have selected as a beneficiary for each of these tools before you start drafting your will.

  1.   Consider who has the greatest needs.

If you have a loved one with a disability or who has special needs, it may make more sense to set up a trust for them person or simply leave him or her more assets. The same can be said about children, a spouse, or other loved ones who are financially better off than their counterparts. Inheritances do not have to be equal. You can tailor your plan to benefit those with the most need.

  1.   Consider the status quo.

You should consider your current situation as well. Imagine you have three adult children, but you have been supporting one for several years, and he or she has been living with you. Based on these circumstances, it may make more sense to leave one child the house while the others get the funds. This child may also need more ongoing financial support as well.

  1.   Consider how loved ones will react to an inheritance.

In many situations, loved ones will be thrilled to receive an inheritance. However, there are circumstances where a child or other family member may not want or appreciate a legacy. Perhaps they would see the benefit as a “hand out” that they do not want.

In some circumstances, receiving money or assets would hurt a loved one’s lifestyle. If, for example, a child took a vow of poverty, he or she may not know what to do with an inheritance. In situations that involve special needs individuals, an inheritance may undermine their ability to receive federal aid. Be sure to consider each beneficiary’s circumstances before you give.

Contact Us

At Legacy Planning Law Group, we can help you walk through these potential scenarios. You want to be sure that your estate plan provides for your family and friends. Preempt unnecessary stress or problems with your estate plans. Contact Legacy Planning Law Group to set up an appointment today.

Written by Legacy Planning Law Group

Legacy Planning Law Group is dedicated to working with individuals and families to help protect the assets they have built throughout their life, and make everything simpler for families who have lost a loved one. We help thoughtful people achieve the peace of mind that comes with planning their personal legacy and passing on family harmony.

Written by Legacy Planning Law Group

Legacy Planning Law Group is dedicated to working with individuals and families to help protect the assets they have built throughout their life, and make everything simpler for families who have lost a loved one. We help thoughtful people achieve the peace of mind that comes with planning their personal legacy and passing on family harmony.