Managing inheritance expectations

Inheritance can tear families apart, but a few common-sense steps could make for a more harmonious distribution of your wealth once you’re gone.

Communicate openly
Be honest about your financial position and don’t let your family think that you have more (or less) than you do. You don’t have to go into the nitty-gritty, but an indication of what you are leaving as a total will put their minds at ease.

Split your money evenly
Treat everyone equally and you’ll have fewer problems. If everyone gets the same, there can be no fighting about it.

Make everyone a beneficiary
If you have an insurance policy, don’t make one child the beneficiary and assume that the money will get distributed equally. Sadly, not everyone is as trustworthy as we think. Make all your children a beneficiary and there will be less hassle.

Explain yourself
If, for any reason, you are not distributing your money evenly, explain why. Don’t worry about the resentment while you’re still alive, write a note to each of your children which can be left with your will.

Don’t hand it all over at once
If you’re unsure whether your family will make the best decisions when being handed a pile of cash, consider using a trust or adding stipulations to how the money is used.

Written by Debbie McTaggart



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