Advice on Letting Your Children Know They Won’t Receive an Inheritance

There are some surprising conclusions that people reach after creating an estate plan. For example, after putting the finishing touches on estate planning documents, some parents discover that they do not want to pass on an inheritance to the couple’s children. This is often not because the children have done anything wrong, but rather because the children are in a place where they can now take care of themselves and the parents decide their inheritance would do better if passed on to the surrounding community. This article reviews some important pieces of advice that you should remember in case you find yourself in such an estate planning situation.


Remember Your Assets Are Yours


Deciding to not leave your estate to your children is a divisive document. Some parties will argue on both sides of things. Despite this debate, however, it is important to remember that your assets are yours and that you can do whatever you want with them. This is true regardless of whoever criticizes your choices. If you have strong reasons for not passing your inheritance onto your children, this is the only thing that should influence your decision.


Clearly Communicate Your Wishes


One of the most common but devastating problems that can occur with estate planning is if a person fails to communicate their wishes for their assets to their loved ones. Things can grow ugly and challenging for your loved ones if they go through life with the assumption that they will receive an inheritance from your estate. Rather than let your loved ones making financial planning decisions based on the assumption that they will receive an inheritance from you, it is a much better idea to let your loved ones know your plans in advance. By having difficult conversations now, you can avoid much more unpleasant results later.


Realize that Things Can Change


Even if you have very concrete plans for how your assets should be passed on today, this does not mean that you will have these same feelings year from now. It is also incorrect to assume that because your children are secure today, that unexpected events can occur and leave your children in a much more challenging financial situation in the future. As a result, you should be prepared to change the terms of your estate plan if certain events occur. Avoid the assumption that how things are today is how things will be years from now. Instead, routinely review your estate plan so you can make updates. While years from now you might still decide to pass on assets to a noble organization in your community, you might also decide to pass on a smaller amount to your children.


Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer


Estate planning is filled with challenges, and it can be difficult to decide how to best navigate the obstacles that can arise. One of the best ways to avoid unforeseen complications down the road is to retain the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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