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How Should Your Estate Plan Treat the Family’s Black Sheep?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2019 | Estate Planning |

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Let’s face it. Many families have a Black Sheep that has caused serious problems for the family and himself or herself.

When it comes to working on your estate plan, you may do so with the goal of leaving as much of what you worked your whole life to obtain behind for your loved ones as possible.

However, in some cases, there may be additional considerations involved. For example, maybe you have several children, and you want to distribute your assets between or among them after your passing, but you do not necessarily want to make equal distributions to each of your children.

Perhaps you have a child who has been attentive to your physical or health needs while another child or children may have not done so. You may want to reward the child who sacrificed to give you that care.

Similarly, you may have a child who is struggling with, for example,  alcohol, drug or gambling problem, and you have concerns about leaving this child money and are considering perhaps disinheriting him or her.

In such situations, you may want to consider establishing a living trust, which can help address these and similar family issues. Just how can creating a trust help you, if you are facing one of the above situations?

When you want to make unequal distributions

Ultimately, it is your decision if you wish to leave one of your children more money or assets than another. Keep in mind. however,that does not mean the child you excluded or left a lesser amount may not try to challenge your wishes.

When you leave assets behind to your heirs in a trust, however, the child you excluded or left a lesser amount probably will be much less likely to come forward and challenge your wishes.

This can save your family considerable arguments and grief.

Furthermore leaving assets behind in a trust gives you and your family more privacy, because it keeps your information out of the public eye.

When you want to disinherit a child

While creating a trust can help you keep what might be unpopular decisions under wraps, it can also give you an opportunity to establish conditions for a child you may want to disinherit.

For example, you may be able to leave assets behind for the child in question under the condition that he or she, say, stays drug-free for a set period before getting any of your estate.

While these are some of the things you can accomplish with a living trust, please note that this is not a comprehensive list of all the things you may be able to do using this estate planning method. 

For that, you should talk to us or another estate planning law firm.

If you have other friends or family members who have similar problems, please share this blog with them.