How to Leave an Inheritance for Your Kids

As a parent, you naturally want to include your children as beneficiaries in your will. You want them to inherit what you have after you die. However, if you don’t do your estate planning carefully, it can lead to arguments and hurt feelings. Here are some helpful tips for leaving an inheritance to your kids:

Manage Expectations

Many adult children underestimate the value of their parents’ estates by quite a bit. That’s why it’s important to talk to your kids about how much they should expect to receive after you die. While you don’t have to give them exact numbers, your children should have a good sense of where they stand. You should also let them know that your financial situation can change in the future. For example, if you have to spend more money on medical care than expected, their inheritances may be reduced.

Put All Your Children Down as Beneficiaries

If you wish for all your kids to inherit your assets equally, it’s important to list them all as beneficiaries. If you just name one child as a beneficiary, you can’t be sure if everyone will get their fair share upon your death. It’s actually common for siblings to get into fights over inheritances after their parents’ death. If you name all your children as beneficiaries and leave a list of who gets what, you can prevent family arguments.

Explain Unequal Distributions

There are times when parents leave unequal distributions to their kids in their wills. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of hurt feelings and resentment. To minimize this, you should explain why you did your distributions the way you did. For example, if one of your children makes significantly more money than the rest, you may decide to leave him or her a smaller inheritance. Make sure to explain this in your will.

Consider Using a Trust

If you are worried some of your children might not use their inheritance wisely, you may want to consider creating a trust. For example, if one of your kids is under 18, you should think about distributing the assets to him or her when he or she is a little older. Once your child matures a little bit, he or she might make better financial decisions.

You could also consider creating incentive trusts. For instance, you could explain that you want your child to finish college before he or she receives the entire inheritance.

You want the best for your children. If you carefully plan your will, you can give your kids inheritances that will help them in their lives. If you need additional help with your will, you should contact an experienced estate planning attorney such as the Scottsdale Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys locals turn to. He or she can give you sound advice and help you draft and estate plan that fits your needs. The majority of estate planning attorneys offer initial consultations, so there is nothing to lose by talking to one.


Thanks to authors at Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys for insight into Estate Planning.