Splitting your assets can be hard to think about, especially if you don’t have heirs or don’t want to split things evenly. There’s plenty of factors that contribute to your decisions on how you’ll be splitting things. Even if your family dynamics are less complicated than others, there can still be different reasons for how you want to divide your assets when the time comes. So how do you handle splitting your assets without splitting your family? Here’s some things to think about.
Talk About How You’ll Be Splitting Your Assets
While it isn’t always an easy conversation, talking about your estate plan ahead of time can save your family a lot of stress when the time comes. Having the conversation and giving your family a breakdown of what you’ve planned is the most important step in keeping the peace and ensuring your plan will be executed the way you wish. There’s so many stories of situations in which a family has no idea what their loved one’s wishes are or they’re blindsided when an inheritance isn’t what they’re expecting. During a time of grief, the last thing you want for your loved ones is to be under any extra stress or cause tension between family members if someone thinks their share is unfair.
You don’t need to split your assets evenly. There are many options available to add stipulations to your plan that can help you also feel at peace about how you are dividing your assets. Maybe you don’t think your children are responsible enough or you want to put certain age limits in place for them to receive their inheritance. There’s also the option of putting certain benchmarks in place, for example say they will get half their inheritance once completing college. You’re able to choose how your estate is divided and when.
Tell your family what to expect when the time comes. Let them know how you will be splitting your assets, especially if you aren’t splitting things evenly or have certain benchmarks in place. This gives your loved ones time to process and also gives you time to explain your decisions. If you don’t explain your wishes now, your loved ones will have to live with unanswered questions that could lead to more grief.
For more tips on what exactly to tell your family about your estate plan, read our guide here.
Every family is unique and there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to estate planning and discussing your plans. If you need to start the estate planning process or need to update your plan, please contact us. We’re able to help you in Illinois or Wisconsin. Let us help get your family on the right track.
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Disclaimer: This article is intended to serve as a general summary of the issues outlined therein. While this article may include general guidance, it is not intended as, nor is a substitute for, qualified legal advice. Your review or receipt of this article by Lexern Law Offices, Ltd. (the “LLG”) or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the LLG. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors of the article and does not reflect the opinion of the LLG.