Timing Is Everything
If you want to make sure that your children (or grandchildren) use their inheritance wisely and that they are mature enough to handle their legacy, the timing of that inheritance may be important to you.
You may wish to plan to give your inheritance to them in stages. Such a strategy can be accomplished in several ways. You may choose to give them part of their inheritance in phases, for example a portion when they reach the age of 21, a portion when they are 30, a final portion when they reach 35. Another method might be to state that the inheritance can be given proportionately; for example: five years, seven years and ten years after your death.
The decision of whether to leave an inheritance, the amount of that inheritance, to whom and when the inheritance is given – those decisions remain in your hands during your lifetime. But you may want to discuss certain issues with an adult child. If, for example, you state that you leave part of their inheritance to them upon marriage, then issues such as divorce and remarriage can have unexpected consequences.
In the case of adult children – depending on the timing and manner of the settlement, a portion of your inheritance to them may become part of the settlement to an ex-spouse.
If this is not your wish or intention, then consultation with an attorney who is knowledgeable in estate planning issues could be your best option.
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