If you decided to have a will drafted up by an attorney, you must designate beneficiaries. Once you have done that, you must then decide who will get what when it comes to your assets once you pass away. If you have one child, then this is probably an easy process. However, if you have multiple children, then you will want to ensure that you distribute your assets as evenly and fairly as possible. You don't want your children fighting or thinking that you didn't love them or care about them equally. Here are a few things that you should take into consideration as you determine who should receive what.
Take into Consideration Each Child's Current and Expected Future Income and Debt
Take a close look at the financial state of each of your children. Do you have a child that is just now entering the workforce who may also have some student debt? If so, this child may need more of an inheritance than another child who is more financially stable due to their career as a CEO of a major corporation. Do you have a child who is about to graduate high school and pursue a college education? This child may require more money as well in order to pay for their college degree.
Take into Consideration Each Child's Life Events and Current Assets
You will want to determine the financial status of each child by looking at where they are in life and what assets they current own. Children who have recently gotten divorced and have children of their own or are unmarried may need more money than children who are married and have two incomes. A child who has a large mortgage may need more money than a child who has already paid off their house.
Take into Consideration Each Child's Needs and Responsibilities
There are many challenges that can be thrown your way in life. If one of your children has developed a debilitating medical condition or has a long-term disability, they may need a larger inheritance than their healthy siblings.
Once you have come to a final decision about who receives what of your assets, consider sitting down with your children and your attorney to provide an explanation. At the very least, talk to your attorney and find out if this is a good idea. Your attorney may suggest writing a letter to leave with your will to be read to your children at the reading of your will. Ultimately, it will all come down to the best interests of you and your family and your individual situation. For more information, reach out to a will and trust attorney in your area.
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