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Clearwater & Oldsmar Elder Law Attorney
  • The Florida Bar
  • NELF - National Elder Law foundation
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Your Kids Don’t Want Your Clutter, but Do They Want Your Money?

Declutter

It is a well-known fact in estate planning law that one person’s family heirloom is another person’s clutter.  As inherited wealth goes, personal property is overrated.  Almost everyone who has tried to pass on once-costly personal property to younger relatives has found out that their sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews would rather have cash equivalent to the value of the formerly cherished items.  Once you have wrapped your mind around the fact that your personal property is less valuable to your heirs than an equivalent amount of money would be, another question arises.  Do your surviving family members want your money?  If yes, what is the best way to get it to them.  If no, what should you do with the money instead?  There is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions, but it is a good idea to discuss your options with a Central Florida estate planning lawyer.

Be Honest with Your Children and Respect Their Wishes

An article on the Marketplace website highlights the ordeal of young adults who inherit wealth after their parents die an untimely death.  Its interview subject was 25 years old and living paycheck to paycheck when he inherited $400,000 from his father who died by suicide.  The money has been sitting in the young man’s bank account for two years, and he does not even want to think about spending it, because it just reminds him of the pain of losing his father.

An inheritance that your children did not know they were going to receive can feel like an unwanted gift.  Remember that your grown children have their own values and their own financial goals.  An inheritance can stand in the way of their goals instead of furthering them.  The best way to avoid this problem is to talk to your children about what they want.  Maybe they would prefer that you leave the lion’s share of your wealth to the sibling who needs it the most.  Maybe they would prefer that you put it in a trust for your grandchildren.  The only way to find out is to ask.

Giving Your Children Money While You Are Around to See Them Benefit from It

Not everyone wants to become a millionaire overnight; the thought fills some people with dread.  Almost anyone would like to get a gift of a few thousand dollars every year, though.  Therefore, it might be a better idea to give modestly sized cash gifts to your younger relatives throughout your retirement years.  You will get to see them use the money in ways that stem from their values, and you get to experience their gratitude.  Best of all, cash gifts below $15,000 are not subject to taxes for the giver or the recipient.

Contact an Attorney Today for Help

You should talk honestly with your children about their financial goals and then talk to an estate planning lawyer about how to help them meet those goals without losing their independence.  Contact Clearwater estate planning lawyer William Rambaum to discuss your questions.

Resource:

marketplace.org/2019/08/21/the-emotional-struggle-of-receiving-an-inheritance/

https://www.rambaumlaw.com/the-various-ways-that-family-members-can-jointly-own-real-estate-property/

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