Tips for leaving assets to your children in California

by | Nov 9, 2020 | Estate Planning |

One of the most important questions that you’ll need to answer when creating your estate plan is how to divide assets between your children. In some cases, it is wise to simply give each of your sons or daughters an equal share of your estate. However, there are situations in which it is better to give them an equitable inheritance instead.

What does each child truly need?

If your adult children are all financially stable and have no special needs, it might make sense to give them an equal inheritance. However, if one of your adult children has a special need or relies on you to help pay bills, it is important to take that into account when creating your estate plan.

It is also worth considering whether there are any assets that one son or daughter would appreciate or cherish more than the other siblings. For example, your son might have a greater affinity for your beach house than his sister or vice versa. In such a scenario, it would likely make more sense to give that asset to your son and another asset of similar economic or sentimental value to your daughter.

Keep the peace between your children

Dividing assets equally among your offspring might minimize the possibility of a legal challenge. If a case does go to court, legal fees and other costs will need to be paid with your estate’s money. Therefore, anyone who might stand to inherit from it will likely receive less than they had originally anticipated. To minimize the chances of a lawsuit, it may be possible to include language in a will that says anyone who challenges its terms forfeits their inheritance.

If you’re unsure of how to allocate assets among your children, consider speaking with an estate planning attorney. The lawyer may suggest creating a trust or other documents to provide for your sons or daughters without causing tension between them.