Your assets are a tool to prolong the health, happiness and success of your loved ones. Unfortunately, division of assets can often lead to disputes among heirs and divide families rather than uniting them. Thinking about how to divide assets fairly among children can help minimize some of those issues before they occur. Consider these factors in your Massachusetts estate plan.
Fair Market Value
Some assets may change in value over time. Real estate, for instance, goes through constant market fluctuations. Plus, the value may also increase based on your mortgage amortization schedule. Considering only the current value of such assets can lead to unfair distributions later on. A more creative approach to valuing and divide such assets may be more appropriate.
Understanding the impact your generosity will have on someone’s life is important. A family business may not interest one child, while another child may have been behind the counter with you since childhood. Have a conversation with your children about their preferences and desires so that you can use this information in your estate planning decisions. Re-allocating assets after you passing will be harder for your family, so addressing this concern while you are present is important.
Some of your children may have kids of their own. Including your grandchildren in your estate plan is an excellent way to extend your support to another generation. Think about whether those with children should receive more from your estate than those without. Whatever you decide, it can help to keep an open dialogue with your family so none are surprised by your plans.
If you have children or grandchildren with special needs, you may want to dedicate more assets to assist with their future care. Medical and other expenses can result in hardship, especially without your presence and financial assistance. Include this in your estate planning to ease that burden and alleviate your own peace of mind.
Summary of How to Divide Assets Fairly Among Children
There is really no precise formula on how to divide assets fairly among children and grandchildren in your family. It really depends on your family and your assets. By keeping the above factors in mind, you can improve your chances of a fair distribution and thereby minimize family disputes. In doing so, your family is more likely to remain close and to help each other cope with the difficulty of your loss.
If you would like some guidance and creative solutions on how to divide your assets, schedule a consultation with our team of Massachusetts estate planning attorneys. Using our experience and creativity, we can help you develop a fair estate plan and to keep that plan updated to reflect the ongoing changes in your life.