Mullen and Iannarone, P.C.
Serving the legal needs of corporations, individuals and
families of Suffolk County since 1972

Strategies for transferring wealth to future generations

A parent in New York who is trying to decide how to divide their assets should have confidence in their ultimate decision. This is true regardless of what adult children or other family members may feel. Children are urged to not let the size of their inheritance act as a proxy for the size of their parent's love. Parents should talk with their children and others ahead of time to discuss how assets will be divided.

In some cases, this may be based on what a child or grandchild may need in the future. For instance, a son or daughter who is struggling financially may need more money than another child who has $500,000 in the bank. Parents may also decide that current efforts to help a child who is struggling financially should be taken into consideration when deciding on the size of an inheritance.

Beneficiaries should not rely on a future inheritance. Anything that is provided by a parent in a will or trust should be considered a bonus. Individuals are encouraged to refrain from holding their brothers or sisters accountable for getting more money than they did. Ultimately, everyone should accept what a parent decides to do with his or her wealth.

The use of wills and trusts may make it easier to adhere to the final wishes of the deceased. An estate owner may wish to consult with an attorney who could help draft such documents. Legal counsel may also be able to review or edit estate planning documents that have already been created. Ideally, an individual will review their estate plan every couple of years or after a major life event such as a marriage or divorce takes place.

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