When planning your estate, you have to consider all of your children, stepchildren and other heirs you may include within your estate plan. One of the biggest mistakes some parents make is treating all kids equally.
While you may want to be fair to your children, remember that all children have different struggles and may have different needs.
Keeping blended families in mind
If you remarried and your spouse has children, you may want to consider what you leave to your children and what you go to your spouse. For example, your children may lose property or assets if they pass to your spouse and then to your spouse’s children. Additionally, consider what every child needs, rather than what you may want to give to each of your children. You may want to ensure your children have adequate care.
Understanding adult children’s behavior
Some children cannot handle a lot of money at once. For example, if you have a child who has difficulty saving money, has a gambling problem or battles addiction, you may not want to leave a lot of your assets to him or her at once. Instead, you may need an executor to manage the assets or add a spendthrift provision to the estate plan. Spendthrift provisions allow your children to receive money at regular intervals instead of once.
Additionally, children with special needs may need a trust that provides them with funds to care for themselves at regular intervals. When it comes to those who may have disabilities, make sure your trust does not interfere with his or her disability payments.