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On Inheritances: When Treating Children Equally is Unwise

On Inheritances:  When Treating Children Equally is UnwiseParents with more than one child usually strive to treat each child equally when they are young, but once your children reach adulthood and you are considering their inheritances in your estate planning, there are some circumstances when unequal treatment may be better for everyone:

Estate executors – parents usually want to name all their children as co-executors of their estate to demonstrate equal trust. However, this is rarely a good idea. Instead, parents should choose the adult child who is best at handling financial responsibilities wisely and who has the skills to manage the estate. If none of your children qualify, consider naming a professional Trustee, another family member or a trusted friend.

Special needs or Incapacity – parents with special needs children have other estate planning options that will preserve assets for a special needs child without potentially disqualifying them from important governmental benefits. Also, if you have an adult child with substance abuse or dire financial problems, establishing a trust and naming a Trustee to oversee distributions may be a better option to preserve assets for their benefit.

Gifting – giving assets outright to children with creditor issues or substance abuse problems could exacerbate those problems. If gifts are needed to pay for an education or medical expenses, parents can pay the appropriate organizations directly for the benefit of the child. A trust can also be established to equalize gifts to all your children.

An attorney experienced in Florida estate planning can help you protect your assets and plan for your family’s financial future. Contact our Fort Myers law firm for a free consultation.

Categories: Estate Planning, Wills
dorcey law firm
The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC - Fort Myers Attorney
Located at 10181 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy, Suite C, Fort Myers, FL 33966
Phone: (239) 330-6674
Local Phone: (239) 418-0169