How to Prepare Your Heirs for an Inheritance

by | Oct 28, 2020 | Estate Planning |

Many New York families own significant assets and have one or more adult children who will receive an inheritance. The amounts bequeathed generally are significant but can have varying effects on the beneficiaries. That makes it important to discuss pending inheritance with beneficiaries to help to stabilize potentially emotional reactions among family members and others.

Three essential questions to consider

A will is an important part of estate planning that streamlines the assets-distribution process after the benefactor passes on. Discussing the inheritance amount each beneficiary can expect will help to smooth out the process even more. Prior to that discussion, three essential questions should be considered. Those questions regard the amount each beneficiary gets, how it would affect that person, and how you should inform them.

Inheritance amounts have varying effects

Even a significant amount of money and valuable assets might not have much of an impact on a person’s life. An adult child who has become highly successful and already has significant assets will not experience a significant life change unless bequeathed a particularly large amount. One who has little to no personal assets and relatively little earning power would find the same amount to be a life-changing event. Ultimately, the amounts you bequeath and how they impact the intended recipients will determine how you go about informing each whenever you have the chance to do so.

Intent should be conveyed

Any conversations about expected inheritance amounts should focus on the intent of the gift. You can explain the amounts and types of assets being distributed and how you intend for them to affect the lives of those who receive them. That can help to better explain the benefit of the inheritance while enabling it to have the greatest potential impact. It also could help to prevent family fighting over asset distribution.

A Rochester attorney who is experienced in estate planning can help you to understand the tools available to ensure a smoother distribution to beneficiaries and have the greatest impact on their lives.