While many people create an estate plan that simply divides their assets among the number of heirs they want to leave money to, you can be more specific regarding your assets. Whether you want to leave a cash sum to one child, and set up a trust for a grandchild, you have the right to do whatever you want with the money in your estate. If you are concerned about how an heir will spend the money, or if you want the money saved for a child's education, you can create specific trusts in order to do so. You will want to take a hard look at your assets and consider what is fair to each of your heirs while making an estate plan.
When One Heir Doesn't Need the Money
Consider that you have one child who is wealthier than you are, while another child is barely getting by on the money they earn. You may want to consider talking to the wealthy child about your estate plan, and think about leaving them out of your estate completely. Explain that the other heirs you want to leave money to need the money more, and that there is no personal reason for leaving the wealthy child out. It's good to have conversations about money, even when they are difficult.
If an Heir is Special Needs
If you want to leave money to a disabled heir, you will need to have a special needs trust created. This way, the individual won't inherit cash directly. The money will go into a trust to meet their needs instead. When a person who is receiving benefits from the government inherits money directly, this can make their benefits stop. This can have a disastrous effect if the inheritance isn't large enough to meet all of their needs for the rest of their life. A trust is used to supplement their needs, and can be used for almost anything the person wants or needs.
When an Heir is Young
If you are nervous about leaving a large sum of money to a young heir, you can set up a trust that disburses money in a predetermined schedule. You can write the trust so that the heir receives a lump sum every year, every five years, or even every ten years. The sum can vary each year, and you will ensure that the heir has some money for quite some time into the future by doing it this way.
For more information or assistance, contact family law attorneys, such as Maury K Cutler.