Parents Grapple with Effect of Inheritances and the Meaning of Money

June 4, 2011

New York inheritance planning involves passing on values as well as assets. No matter how large the family estate, most parents think long and hard about how their inheritance will affect the lives of their children. For many there are no easy answers to questions like how new wealth will affect their children's independence or how much wealth is the appropriate balance between proper inheritance and philanthropy.

As a story last week in the Belleville News Democrat explained, many parents are taking steps to share important information about the meaning of money as part of their inheritance plan. Most families strive to pass on the right amount of money so that children are provided for but still maintain the incentive to work, strive, and succeed.

One hardworking family, including a 60-year old retired teacher and 62-year old real estate broker, explained how they have worked with their now 30-year old daughter on financial matters, noting "We really want to encourage her to develop a personal financial plan, a personal philosophy, and become really familiar with the types of investments." The family admits that frankness and early discussions about these issues is important. Children should know what to expect and parents should not be afraid to share their concerns with their loved one.

Some are worried that their loved ones may be unprepared to handle the estate that they receive. Those families often face issues with asset planning for spendthrift children. They are aware that their children are poor at handling money or inexperienced with such matters. Many options exist for parents in those situations. For example, trusts are perfect tools to ensure that a child has access to reasonable assets but is unable to abuse the overall value of the estate. In these situations a designated "trustee" manages the actual estate with rules about what the child receives and when they receive it.

In our area, a New York estate planning lawyer is capable of working with families on all of these issues. A variety of different trust options are available to parents worried about the maturity and financial acumen of their adult children--from regular inheritance trusts to more complicated options like "sprinkling" or "spray" trusts. Be sure to contact an experienced professional to explain these choices and take steps to put them into place.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Estate Planning is Particularly Important for Families with Autistic Children

New York Estate Plan is Much More than Wills & Trusts