How Do You Decide Who Gets What Assets When Doing Estate Planning?

Deciding who should inherit your assets is an extremely personal decision. Ultimately, no one can make these critical decisions but you. Some people do not think much about how they will divide their assets, but developing who gets what under your estate plan is extremely important to both your family and to your legacy.

The Who: Who Should Receive Assets?

When most people create an estate plan, their spouses, children, and grandchildren come to mind first. However, you can leave your assets to whomever you would like, regardless of whether they have any relation to you at all. Consider friends or more distant relatives that have had a significant impact on your life. Should these people be considered in creating your estate plan?

You are also under no obligation to give anything directly to your children if your real intended beneficiary is your grandchildren. For example, if your ultimate goal is to ensure that your grandchild uses his or her inheritance to go to college, you can create a trust with this goal in mind.

It is a good idea to talk to your estate planning attorney about your ultimate goals in your asset distribution. He or she will often be able to suggest an estate planning tool that directly addresses your needs.

The What: Which Assets Go Where?

For planning purposes, it would be easy just to say that, for example, each of your three children will take all of your assets in equal shares. However, such a division may not actually end up being practical or even fair. Consider the realities of your situation. Perhaps your youngest daughter has been living with you for several years. Is it practical for her to move out of the home so that it can be sold and divided? Alternatively, would it make more sense to leave her the house and adjust bequests to other children accordingly?

Along a similar vein, perhaps equally dividing your assets would not be the most beneficial for your children based on their circumstances as well. For example, if one child has a successful business and is very wealthy, perhaps it makes more sense for you to provide your other children with a larger amount of funds and leave the wealthy child a smaller amount.

Sentimental value also plays a significant role in who should receive your assets. Perhaps one child has always wanted your grand piano while another child has no interest. Liquidating this treasured possession could be very hard on your child; instead, you may want to leave that particular asset to him or her instead.

You may also want to consider which child will keep specific assets in the family. If your grandmother left you an item, for example, you might want to pass that particular piece to the child that understands and appreciates the importance of it.

Careful planning can help you accomplish all of your estate planning goals. Legacy Planning Law Group can examine your goals and advise on which estate planning tools would be the most useful for you. Give us a call today at (904) 880-5554 for more information.

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.