Is Leaving an Equal Inheritance Ever Unfair?
Cincinnati estate planning lawyers provide you with assistance as you make effective use of legal tools to provide an inheritance for loved ones. There are many different tools that you can use to provide for your family and facilitate the transfer of assets after you are gone. Zimmer Law Firm can help you to use the right tools for your particular situation so your assets are kept safe and so your family is taken care of.
There are also a lot of things to think about as you decide how to structure your estate plan and decide who you want to provide with certain financial gifts. You’ll want to think about the big picture to decide both what tools to use in your estate plan and to decide how to divide up your wealth among your loved ones in the best and most fair way so you can leave the strongest possible legacy.
One issue that you may want to consider when you make your plans is whether there are circumstances where an equal inheritance might not be the fairest approach.
When is Leaving an Equal Inheritance Unfair?
When you are deciding how you want to leave an inheritance to your loved ones, one of the key questions you will need to think about is how to divide up your assets. It’s very common for those who are making an estate plan to decide they want certain categories of relatives to be treated the same. For example, you may decide you want to leave the same amount of money to all of your children, and you may also decide you want to leave the same amount of money to each grandchild that you have.
If you have decided you want to provide equally for a group of heirs or beneficiaries, the natural assumption is that each child would receive the same amount of money. For example, if you had $200,000 you wanted to divide up among your two children, it’s natural to assume the fairest way to do so would be to give each child $100,000. However, this ignores the fact that the children’s circumstances might be very different.
For example, if the children are a few years apart in age, one of your children may have already graduated from college before the other has started. If you paid for the older child’s education in full and then passed away before the youngest child was able to get into college, the youngest child could end up being forced to pay for the education with some of his inheritance money. If the schooling cost $50,000 and the youngest had to use half his inheritance to pay for it, he’d be left with just $50,000. Meanwhile, your older child would have already received the $50,000 in the form of paid tuition bills.
This obviously makes the younger child worse off than the older child because his inheritance is half gone. In these circumstances, it might be fairer to take $50,000 and put it into a special trust to be used only for the education of the younger child. You’d then divide up the remaining $150,000 you wanted to leave your kids equally between the two of them.
This is just one of many examples where what seems fair on the surface may not be. Using the right legal tools with help from Cincinnati estate planning lawyers can give you the insight you need to ensure that you’ve made smart choices regarding how to structure an inheritance so everyone in your family is fairly provided for.
Getting Help from Cincinnati Estate Planning Lawyers
Cincinnati estate planning lawyers can provide invaluable help understanding the issues that can affect your estate planning process. We can also help you to make use of tools such as trusts to ensure you have the control you need to provide a fair amount of assets to all of the people you love.
To find out more about the ways in which our legal team can assist you with all aspects of the estate planning process, give us a call at 513.721.1513 today. You can also join us for a free seminar to discover more about all of the different services our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team can provide to you. Give us a call today to get started.