Local news for the Stuart, Florida area ran a story about the issue of inheritance for children and estate planning

Potential problems between siblings

Most parents will decide to leave all, or a significant portion of their estate to their children. However, some careful planning should be put into this decision and there are some legal issues that need to be considered as well, even if a parent simply decides to split the estate evenly among all children. 

A primary concern that parents have is related to causing family disputes or destroying relationships by leaving an unequal inheritance. However, according to experts there are possibilities that some may still be disappointed with an equal share, especially if they think that they should receive more. A director of estate and wealth planning strategies cautions parents that these issues should always be considered carefully. 

For example, some families may consider significant gifts or assets already given to one child previously, and deduct them from the total that will be distributed to that child. Other families may have businesses to continue, and a child who is put in charge of the business may require more money to keep the company running properly. There are also situations where one person has already invested significant time and money into caring for a parent in their old age. 

There is always the possibility of resentment among siblings. Especially if they feel that money distributed to a brother or sister is undeserved or unearned for some reason. Issues can also arise when someone feels that they have been given much less financial help during the course of their life from their parents, regardless of what they have received from their parents’ estate. 

Anytime a child has received less than others, they can view their inheritance as a form of punishment. This is sometimes referred to as a “success tax” by some professionals because there are situations where children who are in a better financial position receive less. It can be beneficial to meet with the entire family and explain the situation before making any concrete decisions. This should help prevent misunderstandings.

Planning for the distribution of property and assets

In addition to these concerns about family members, it is also important to realize that the law has a number of rules and regulations related to property distribution. This can include taxes, restrictions on certain types of trusts or gifts, and other issues that may not be obvious. Because of the possibility of mistakes and unforeseen issues, it is recommended to only prepare estate planning documentation with the assistance of a local lawyer in Florida who focuses on this aspect of the law.

Learn more about estate administration and probate courts

An attorney who handles estate planning, wills, and related issues in the Stuart, Florida area can discuss inheritance with you. Contact:

The Estate, Trust, and Elder Law Firm

850 NW Federal Highway, #1004, Stuart, FL 34994

772-261-8556

www.etelf.com

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