If you’re a parent, it goes without saying — you want what’s best for your kids. When your children are young, it makes sense to divide your estate equally among them. However, as your kids get older and reach their 20s and 30s, you may discover that one child is more financially responsible than another. How does this affect your estate plan? Should one child receive more than the other?
When creating your estate plan and deciding how your property and assets should be divided after you die, consider the following factors:
- Caregiver — What if one child stuck around to take care of you later in life while your other children moved away? You may want to leave more to him or her since he or she sacrificed part of their life to take care of you.
- Life situations — One child may be a single lawyer with few expenses while the other may have a large family to support on a modest salary. Should both children receive the same amount?
- Special needs children — If you have a child who is handicapped or disabled, he or she will likely require special care and attention for the rest of their lives. As a result, he or she may require considerably more assets to survive.
- Younger children may need more support — Is there a drastic age disparity between your children? You may have older children who are independent adults and a younger child who is just broaching adulthood.
Regardless of how you decide to set up your estate plan, one thing is certain: you must inform your children — you do not want have them surprised by your estate plan. In some cases, siblings are so distraught over the outcome of a Will, they may seek a will contest. The last thing you want as a parent, is to have your children fighting over your will after you die. Sit down with a skilled estate planning attorney, voice your concerns, and heed his or her advice. Then, speak to your children and let them know about your estate plan and what they should expect if you pass away or become incapacitated.
Many aspects of estate planning are complicated and sensitive. By consulting with an experienced lawyer, you can gain a better understanding of the process and ensure your legacy is enjoyed by your children. Contact Alec Borenstein, Esq., at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 908-236-6457 for assistance with estate planning matters in New Jersey and New York.