The most common method for parents to divide up their assets among their children is to give each child an equal share. Though this may seem to be the fair way to go about leaving your assets to your children, in certain circumstances it may not be.
There are a number of things that you might want to consider when you decide how much of your estate each child will get, such as how much money did you contribute to one childs education, or if there is another child that is acting as a caregiver. Children that take on the role as caregiver do sacrifice a lot of time and money to care for their parents. If this is the case, that child may be entitled to more of your estate than the other children.
Unfortunately, most people tend to believe that if there is some type of disagreement over their will, their children can easily work out their differences among themselves, but this isnt always the case. Often when there are disagreements about a will among family members, it will lead to court battles and this could tear a family apart. The last thing that parents want is for their children to fight amongst themselves after their death.
One of the best ways to avoid such problems is with good communication among family members, and careful estate planning. There are a few steps that you can take that can be very useful in avoiding any future problems with your family.
- Buy a life insurance policy that will give you the means to be more creative when it comes to distributing assets to your children. There is also the option of buying a policy that will only pay off after both you and your spouse die; this is one of the least expensive life insurance policies.
- Create a trust for the life insurance; this way you can reduce the amount of estate taxes that will come out of your assets.
- Have a family meeting so that you can let your children know ahead of time what you plan to leave to each of them. This way if there are any disagreements they can be worked out beforehand.
A solid estate plan and good communication is the best way to avoid family disputes over a parents estate.