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Will there be inheritance issues among your heirs?

It is not unusual for people to have disagreements over the inheritance they receive following the death of a family member. Sometimes a family rift develops, or heirs react in an irresponsible manner that may land them in financial trouble down the road.

If you are the benefactor, you probably have a good idea as to what sort of drama might take place, but a review may be in order. Here are some potential inheritance problems and ways to avoid them.

Family jealousy

Resentment can surface if some heirs do not receive the inheritance they expected. To the extent possible, prepare people for what you intend to leave to them, along with reminders to be low-key, not showy, when the day comes.

Careless spending

Some people who have not had much money may not know how to handle a large inheritance. They may immediately go out to buy expensive toys, such as a luxury car or a boat, and continue on this path for some time. Eventually, the money will run out and the financial trouble will begin. Advise heirs of this mindset to seek counsel from a lawyer, accountant or financial planner.

Jeopardizing income sources

If there is someone among your heirs who receives government benefits, such as a disabled child, an inheritance may jeopardize that source of income. To avoid this problem, talk with your attorney about creating a special needs trust.

Giving money away

Giving money to a charity is a fine idea, but caution your heirs about giving vast sums and not keeping enough for their own financial security. The money undoubtedly took considerable time and effort to make. Your heirs should take sufficient time to decide how best to dispose of it.

Time for an update

Since life has a way of changing for everyone, including your beneficiaries, updates to wills and trusts need to be considered. Perhaps now is a good time to review your estate planning documents and make adjustments to reduce the possibility of discord and rash decision-making among your heirs.


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