Cynthia Crofoot Rignanese, Esquire
Thinking Globally, Practicing Locally in Central Florida Since 1990

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Creating a Sensible Inheritance Requires Some Planning

Parents always want the best for their children, and most try to do whatever they can to help their children lead successful and happy lives. But, as many parents in Polk County probably know all too well, the correct choices are not always clear when it comes to trying to do the best thing to help a child. This can also be true when a parent is trying to set up an inheritance for their children. If parents think through a few important factors, it may help them to create a sensible inheritance plan for their children.

First, people who have accumulated substantial assets throughout their lifetime may want to consider whether they should pass down all of their wealth to their children. For some children, leaving them too large of an inheritance may stunt their ambition and keep them from achieving a productive and meaningful life. Accordingly, parents may want to consider just how much is an appropriate amount to leave as an inheritance for their children.

Similarly, parents should think about whether it would make sense to delay a child's receipt of their inheritance until they reach a certain age and maturity level. They can achieve this plan by setting up a trust for the inheritance and naming a third-party trustee until the beneficiary child becomes old enough to responsibly oversee the trust assets.

Another consideration regarding inheritance plans should be any known weaknesses or problems that a child might have. For example, if a child has a substance abuse problem, leaving them with unfettered access to a large inheritance may only exacerbate that problem and lead to the child's ultimate ruin.

For parents who have more than one child, it might not be sensible to treat them all equally when it comes time to set up their inheritances. Though parents want to be fair and equal with all of their children, life circumstances may necessitate unequal inheritances. Likewise, parents should consider their children's different strengths, as well as their relationships with each other, before making a decision to leave one child in charge of the other's inheritance.

Thinking through a few of these key issues can help to ensure the long-term viability of an inheritance plan. An experienced estates and trusts attorney can help parents design their children's inheritance and set up the appropriate legal instruments to achieve the desired plan.

Rignanese & Associates is available to work with clients on their estate planning needs. Please reach out to us at our new headquarters at 203 Avenue A, NW, Suite, 101, Winter Haven, Florida 33881 at 863.294.1114.

Source: The Arizona Republic, "5 key factors in designing an inheritance plan," Louis A. Silverman, Accessed on Jan. 11, 2016. On behalf of Kelly Kennedy of J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, P.L.L.C; J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, P.L.L.C. has merged with Rignanese & Associates, PLLC.    

Cynthia Rignanese