One of the most difficult parts of estate planning, for some people, is determining how to divide their assets. If you have very few assets or know that your heirs will be in agreement over how you divide things up, you may not worry too much about it. However, if you have a large number of assets or you know your heirs are going to fight over some things, it can be stressful. Here are a few tips for dividing your estate fairly.
Talk to Your Heirs
One of the best ways of avoiding fighting over your estate is to sit down your heirs and talk to them about it. This isn’t always an easy discussion, but if everyone is open and honest about what they want, it will make things much easier. Your heirs can work out compromises, and in the end, everyone knows what they can expect when you die. It guarantees no one is surprised by what’s in your will.
Divide Assets Prior to Your Death
You can also take it one step further and divide up your assets before you die. There are a few ways you can do this. You can give away assets to your heirs, or you can create trusts that will automatically pass to your heirs upon your death. Again, this lets everyone know how your death will impact them so they know what to expect.
Simply Divide Your Estate into Equal Shares
Another option is to state in your will that all of your heirs are to receive the same percentage of your estate. If you have four children, each would receive 25%. This typically means your physical assets and property will be sold and the money then split, but the heirs often have the opportunity to buy items from the estate before they are sold. You can also specify that certain items such as heirlooms are not to be sold, but if you do this, it’s best to state who you want to receive these items so there are no fights.
Need some help writing your will or creating a trust? The team at Michael F. Kanzer & Associates is here to help. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation.