5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Leaving Children an Inheritance

9:17 pm Estate Planning, Wills

question mark in front of face 150x150 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Leaving Children an Inheritance1.  How much is too much?  Most parents do not want to leave an inheritance that would prove detrimental instead of helpful to their children.  While you may not be a Warren Buffett or a Bill Gates, if you do have substantial sums to leave behind, consider how much might be too much to be detrimental to ambition or productivity and maybe leave the rest to a favorite charity.

2.  At what age should they inherit?  Immediate access to a large amount of money can be just as harmful as it could be helpful.  If you are leaving a substantial amount to your children, should you stagger those distributions so they can learn how to be good stewards of your fortune?

3.  Are there any issues?  Parents of children with substance abuse problems or who are just bad with money need to take these issues into consideration before leaving an inheritance.  The same is true of parents with special needs children; you don’t want to disqualify them from receiving important governmental benefits.  There are several good estate planning strategies to help you deal with these contingencies.

4.  Should children be treated equally?  Most parents want to treat all their children the same when it comes to inheritances, but the fact is that not all children are created equal.  One may have already achieved great wealth, while another may be about ready to file bankruptcy.  Customize your estate plan to take these factors into consideration.

5.  Who is the best choice to serve as executor or administrator?  Many parents believe that the eldest child should serve as the executor of their estate or administrator of a trust, but you need to consider who has the best skills to tackle these critical tasks.  Name the best person for the job – which, if you have multiple children, could be someone not related to you at all.

For more insights into estate planning, contact our Orange County law firm.

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