Over the next several decades, baby boomers are set to leave around $30 trillion in inheritances to the generation that follows them. Considering the great deal of wealth that is expected to change hands, baby boomers are encouraged to plan their estates and wills in an intelligent way that limits the threat of estate taxes and costly probate procedures. They are also encouraged to bequeath savings to their children and families in a way that limits the possibility of family infighting.
A poorly planned estate, or an unplanned one, has a higher chance of resulting in family feuds. When arguments about money come into play, old disagreements or past feuds can be rekindled and it is never easy to think of the continuity of one’s family being destroyed after one’s death. In order to avoid this, estate planners can follow a couple of important pieces of advice.
First and foremost, communication is key. Baby boomers can sit their children down at the same table and explain their estate plan and how much they should expect to receive as an inheritance. Interestingly, the average adult child in the United States overshoots his or her expected inheritance by about $100,000. This is likely because children do not always have an accurate picture of how much money and assets their parents have. By revealing one’s finances to children ahead of time — and giving them a ballpark figure of how much they will likely get coming out of a divorce — it will limit the chances of them feel poorly treated after one’s death.
There is also the question of equality when it comes to estate distribution. Will each heir receive an equal share? If it is possible, distributing one’s estate equally is one of the best things that can be done to maintain the peace and continuity of a family following one’s death. Tangible assets, like jewelry and art, cannot be distributed equally; however, estate planners can create a list that clearly indicates who is to receive what in terms of tangible assets.
A an estate planning attorney can be invaluable in making sure one’s wishes are followed after death. The costs associated with estate planning and will planning services in the Palm Beach area will more than pay for themselves in the long term.
Source: aarp.org, “How to Leave an Inheritance to Your Kids” Jean Chatzky, Oct. 01, 2014