When you are raising your children, you want to be fair and treat them equally. However, when it comes to estate planning, you may want to use a different strategy. Every person is unique and your children have different life circumstances and needs. Therefore, it is important to consider whether each child should be treated differently in your estate plan. In many situations, treating your children exactly the same in your planning could lead to negative consequences.
You may be worried about how your children will feel about being treated differently. Giving your children different types of inheritances does not mean that you can’t treat them equally. Consider the following:
- If you have one child that is an adult and one that is still a minor, you may want to consider leaving the adult child a lump sum payment while leaving the minor’s inheritance in a trust for distribution at a certain age.
- You may have one child that is better-suited to serve as the executor than another child. Regardless of your children’s order of birth, you should appoint the child best equipped for administering the estate (even if it is your youngest child).
- If you have a child that is unable to properly manage finances, consider leaving a scheduled payment plan, or the share in trust for him or her instead of giving an outright payment. This can be extremely important in providing for your child for a longer period of time.
- If you have the financial ability to make gifts during your lifetime, you may want to take advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion and make gifts to your children while you can enjoy watching them take advantage of it or for purposes of reducing inheritance tax. For other children who are not ready to receive their inheritance, you can place their gifted money into a trust.
Estate planning provides you with flexibility. You can provide for your children in any number of ways to meet their individual needs. To learn more about creating an estate plan that provides for your children’s unique needs, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.