Wills and Estate Planning

Tips for Estate Planning and Inheritance without Animosity

When dividing up an inheritance between multiple children, consider dividing assets and responsibilities equally, naming specific beneficiaries, and talking to your kids about your estate plan.

Keeping the Peace: 3 Tips for Estate Planning and Leaving Your Inheritance to Your Children

As the saying goes, “You can’t take it with you.” If you’ve got a sizable estate, chances are you’re looking to leave your children some type of inheritance when you pass away. But what’s the best way to approach dividing up an inheritance among multiple siblings without dividing the family? Consider the following suggestions.

Divide both assets and responsibilities as equally as possible.

It stands to reason that if you divide up your assets equally, you can help avoid a great deal of friction and feelings of hostility among siblings. But it can also be just as important to equalize the responsibilities surrounding the settling of your estate. If you don’t, some siblings may feel that you thought of them as less than capable or less worthy compared to the others.

Do your own distributing.

All too often the responsibility of divvying up an estate is assigned to one specific child. For obvious reasons, this can be a big mistake and a family rift just waiting to happen. Instead, do the distributing yourself by naming specific beneficiaries. In addition, have a family meeting to discuss amicably who gets certain valuables or family keepsakes.

Talk to your kids about your estate plan.

Estate planning should be a family affair. In other words, let your kids know what’s in your estate plan, how it’s set up, and why. For example, you might have your life insurance proceeds divided up unequally, but only because one of your children has special needs that will require a lifetime of care. Or perhaps one of your children earns significantly less and therefore has a greater need. Whatever your reason, let them know why you chose to distribute your assets a certain way.

For more information on estate planning, wills and trusts, visit the Protective Estate Planning Learning Center.


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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax‐related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

Divide Your Estate

Estate planning involves making a lot of important decisions. One of those decisions is how to divide your estate among your children so that everyone is happy. The fact is, it's not always easy to divide your estate. However, there are better ways to go about divvying up your estate without causing stress and hard feelings. Consider these helpful ideas on how to leave an inheritance for your children. For more information, visit learning center.

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