Have you considered how to allocate your assets?
The Washington Post’s article, “Think now about what you will leave behind,” notes that a study by Accenture estimates that more than $12 trillion in assets are being shifted from those born in the 1920s and 1930s to baby boomers. Then in the next several decades, about $30 trillion of wealth will be transferred by baby boomers to their heirs.
How that money is distributed will matter. Consider long-term care insurance, a significant expense. Some adult children don’t want to spend the money their parents saved because they might be criticized by other heirs about reducing their inheritance. In many cases it’s the adult daughter who holds a full-time job and would take care of her mother before work and after. But soon she needs some help. And even though mom has money to pay for long-term care, the daughter’s hesitant to spend it because her out-of-state siblings give her grief about the cost.
Frequently family members who are the caretakers are given little or no consideration for the time they spend providing care. The estate’s split up evenly, which can be a source of resentment. Try to avoid estate battles. An elder law attorney can draw up a family agreement in advance regarding who will be responsible for care and what they’ll be paid. They will be paid for their time and effort during their service, or if that’s not an option, they’ll receive compensation in the estate plan.
Of course, a person is free to do whatever they want with their money. But think about the stress and conflict that may occur if you intentionally leave an adult child or children out of your will. Think of the personalities of your children and the resentments, along with potential litigation, your estate plan may cause if your assets aren’t divided in a manner that your kids think is just. Let your children know that fair is sometimes not the same as equal.
Reference: The Washington Post (October 8, 2016) “Think now about what you will leave behind”