The topic of inheritance is causing unease in families across Massachusetts and the nation.
An Ameriprise Financial report revealed just what is creating tension when it comes to inheritance and estate planning. Twenty-five percent of respondents said inheritance has caused drama in their families, and 69 percent haven’t been told how much they stand to inherit, leading to confusion. And people expect more money than they actually will receive. Most expect to inherit more than $100,000 but get less.
There are ways you can put that tension to rest among family members, and it begins with creating an estate plan.
If you die without a will, it will be up to a judge to decide how to dispose of your estate.
Consider this scenario. What if you have no spouse but three adult children – one of whom has run the family business while the other two haven’t contributed any time or effort? All three could be given control of the business, when it really was your intention to leave it to the involved child and leave different assets, such as your home and retirement accounts, to the other children.
Writing out these wishes will ease problems with the family dynamics.
Once you make those plans, tell your family members what they are. Answer their questions about why you made the decisions that you did. Let them know why one child is receiving the business and others will inherit something else. They will appreciate hearing this from you while you’re still alive and not being left to wonder why when you’re gone.
Once you’ve created that estate plan, be sure to update it. If you get divorced, remarried, have a new child or a beneficiary passes away, your estate plan should be changed accordingly to reflect that.
No one likes to think of death and the need to plan for it. But it is crucial for the long-term security of your family members – and their relationships moving forward after you’re gone – that you create an estate plan. Please contact our firm for assistance.