Sometimes it is easy to split up your assets like pieces of the pie, with equal pieces for everyone. Sometimes, the assets just do not split that way or maybe you do not want to split them equally.
How do you split your estate unevenly and still keep the peace in the family or, at the very least, keep it out of the courts in Overland Park or elsewhere?
The uneven distribution of an estate is always a challenge. Nevertheless, when it must happen, it must happen carefully.
Why might you split assets differently among your children and what are the challenges? Private Wealth investigated this matter recently in an article titled “Playing Favorites”
While “favoritism” may be the sole motivation, such is generally the exception to the rule. Commonly, after a “lifetime” of rearing their children, parents may want to level the playing field out of a sense of fairness. Whether making adjustments for unrepaid lifetime “loans,” helping children who were less “successful” financially than their siblings, or protecting an inheritance from a squandering prodigal, the reasons for unequal inheritances as unique as families themselves.
Since there are so many variations on the unequal inheritance theme, the key is to ensure that your reasons are thought-through, valid, and, better yet, conveyed. Like I told Beth Braverman of Money magazine, "Families that keep everything close to the vest are a train wreck waiting to happen." Remember: inheritance and disinheritance are complicated subjects, both legally and emotionally. Depending upon your reasons, you may even find another path forward to be more useful.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri) and to download free tools to help you organize your estate, visit my estate planning website.
Reference: Private Wealth (January 7, 2014) “Playing Favorites”