Dividing Assets Without Dividing the Family

You’re tending to your estate, and it’s time to decide how you want to divide your assets among your adult children. Rather than an even split, you feel it’s best to divide your assets according to need. The last thing you want to do is upset your kids when they learn some of them may get more than their siblings. Here are a few tips that can help you maintain peace in the family while taking care of your kids after you’re gone. 

Decide Why Unequal Inheritances Work Best 

Is one of your adult children doing better financially than the others? Perhaps you have a special needs son or daughter who cannot work. These are common reasons for unequal inheritance. Once you pinpoint your reasons, note them in your estate planning documents, which may require the help of a professional who specializes in probate law austin. You want your children to know exactly why you divided your assets the way you did, so there’s less chance of them arguing with each other. 

Consider a Special Needs Trust 

If you have a special needs child, consider setting up a special needs trust for him or her. What’s unique about this trust is that you can leave assets to your son or daughter without endangering her or his eligibility for financial assistance, such as Social Security. 

Per Capita vs. Per Stirpes

Ask your legal adviser about per capita and per stirpes estate distribution. With per capita, you give your heirs equal portions of your estate. Something to be aware of with this option is that should one of your adult children pass before you, her or his portion of your estate goes toward your surviving children. Per stirpes allocates an equal portion of your estate to every branch of the family tree. That exact portion trickles down to grandchildren if an adult child passes before you.

Talk to your children and a legal professional about navigating asset division. A single conversation can avoid a lot of confusion and frustration.

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