Estate Planning: Think Beyond Money

Inheritance PlanningFights over estates, experts suggest, go beyond money and dollars. In fact, it is common for family members to spend more on legal fees just to battle their relatives over a piece of property they believe they should inherit. They may fight over a piece of furniture, jewelry, painting, or even an old watch.

This is why it is important to think about the nonfinancial aspects when planning your estate. It is also good to remember that it is almost impossible to be fair and equal when dividing possessions and property. You can start by deciding what the term fair means in your family.

Money Inheritance

You, for instance, might decide to leave a larger money inheritance to your child who struggles financially. This means leaving less to those who are doing well financially on their own. If you have a disabled child, it is much practical to give them more cash for long-term care, and give a family vacation home to the other child.

Communicating Wishes

Denver estate planning attorneys note that the best way to prevent family feud is to communicate you plans and wishes to the members of the family. Make it explicit on your will or tell your loved one who gets an asset or a personal property after you die. It helps to make a list of assets, bank accounts, retirement savings, and life insurance.

Asking a Loved One’s Opinion

You might also want to consider the opinion of your loved ones. This is because you might think that your children want to have your old car, while they are much concerned about your watch or that old painting in your room. This will also give you a chance to explain why you are thinking why a certain son or daughter should inherit a property.

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You can also divide possessions by getting your properties appraised and then having your loved ones choose what they want. Be sure to appoint a trusted person or a family member who isn’t included in the estate as an executor. It is a much better move that naming two adult children as co-executors.