4 Issues to Remember About “Black Sheeps” and Estate Planning

Countless families have members who are black sheep. These individuals can end up influencing how the family passes on assets. Regardless of the situation, it is critical to evaluate and reflect on your beneficiary’s situation when it comes to estate planning. As a result, this article reviews some critical issues to consider about estate planning if you have a black sheep in your family.

# 1 – You Need Not Divide Your Assets Equally


Disinheriting a beneficiary is a more routine occurrence than many people think. There are various reasons why you might decide to disinherit a beneficiary that has little to nothing to do with that beneficiary’s lifestyle. Parents might decide to leave more assets to a special ended child. Other times, parents might have helped a house with something while the parent was alive and wants now to make sure that an equal amount of assets are passed to each child. Regardless of your reasons for disinheriting a beneficiary, it is a good idea to explain either in your estate documents in a separate document your intention for unequally dividing  assets.


# 2 – You Can Change Your Mind After Disinheriting Someone


You should routinely review the terms of your estate plan. Situations can change and sometimes do so in a positive direction in regards to a relationship with a family’s black sheep. You can revise your estate documents to provide incentives to someone even after disinheriting them. As a result, you should not approach estate plans with the sense that they are written in stone or incapable of later being altered.


# 3 – You Can Plan for Things That Happen After You Die


While you will not have direct control over things, you can make specific provisions to incentivize certain behaviors. Some examples include creating trusts for beneficiaries that allow a certain amount of assets to be distributed following the achievement of certain milestones. Estate planning methods like this can help to exert some influence over the future even after you pass away or become incapacitated. 


# 4 – Trusts Can Achieve Various Purposes


Some trusts allow a person to name an individual who can help a beneficiary manage his or her inheritance. You might want to avoid burdening someone with the responsibility of being a trustee and decide to appoint a professional trustee instead. While various costs are associated with retaining the services of a professional trustee, this is often a small price to pay for the comfort of knowing that your loved ones including potentially black sheep family members receive the inheritance they deserve.


Contact a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Lawyer


Even if you have an understanding of the various estate planning challenges that you are up against, remember that no one wants to confront the fact that ultimately he or she will pass away. Rather than avoid the challenge of estate planning, it is a good idea to review your options with your estate planning attorney. Contact Ettinger Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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