Are Your Loved Ones Prepared to Manage an Inheritance?



If you think about your estate plan as a way for you to pass on gifts to your loved ones, have you considered whether or not they may be eligible or responsible enough to take on these significant assets? A recent study finds that the majority of Americans who may receive an inheritance in the coming years don’t have the ability to handle it.

New York Life’s Wealth Watch Survey found that only 42% of adults who are anticipating some kind of inheritance from a family member said they felt comfortable handling the new financial opportunities that will be passed down to them.


The study also identified that this breaks down even further by gender, with women being twice as uncertain about their ability to effectively manage an inheritance.


Using a trust is one way to provide more control and comfort for someone getting an inheritance. The funds or assets may be released when certain milestones are hit, such as graduating from college or reaching a certain age. Likewise, you can choose that assets are distributed over time to decrease the chances of making a big financial mistake.


Talking with your loved ones about these options or perhaps even placing the assets inside a trust can help to reduce some confusion and increase the chances that your loved ones will feel comfortable and understand the options available to them when it comes to an inheritance.


Open conversations and discussions about your legacy can help to bring up all of the options you may undertake. Because there are so many complex factors involved in the estate planning process and all of them must be associated with your personal needs and plans, talk to an attorney now.

What If Your Kids Don’t Want Your Belongings?

In the estate planning process, you’ll handle big picture items such as homes, retirement accounts, life insurance policy, designations and other big assets like vehicles. However, even if you want your children to inherit all of your treasured possessions, this does not always mean that your children want to receive them or will handle these assets in the way in which you intend.

Treasured collections are significantly challenging because of the emotional attachment you have to these items. Whether it’s model trains, baseball cards, stamps, coins, or art, if your loved ones don’t share your same level of passion for these collectibles, they may be likely to get rid of them quickly for less than their full value because they don’t see the overall potential as a collectible.

This might also hurt other family members who hoped that your beneficiaries and heirs would keep these items and continue to pass them down to others in the family. If you have specific wishes about how these assets will be handled, make sure that you speak with the person who will receive them and document as much as possible in your estate plan.

If you do have loved ones who feel just as strongly about either your treasured collections or your other property, you might want to put it inside a trust. A trust can help to transfer this property more easily and effectively, assuming you can work with a dedicated estate planning lawyer to help you with this process.

The support of an attorney is very helpful in creating comprehensive estate plans that include things, such as valuable collections. Contact our NH or Maine estate planning lawyers today to get that process started for you.




Can I Put Restrictions On An Inheritance?

You may be thinking carefully about the legacy you wish to leave behind for your loved ones, and the unique considerations of your family dynamics and your individual beneficiaries. This raises plenty of questions, including whether or not you can place restrictions on an inheritance left behind for loved ones. Anyone who is on the receiving end of an inheritance should clearly read the fine print of the will or other estate planning documents.inheritances

The creator of a will can specify that payments will be received in one large sum or in small installments. Furthermore, inheritances can be restricted to particular uses, such as education or the reaching of a certain milestone or an age. This is more common with trust distributions and trusts are often used by people who want to add on an additional layer of control to their estate planning. A trustee will have been appointed through the creation of a trust to manage those assets and to adhere to the terms of trust administration.

As a beneficiary, you are entitled to receive regular reporting from the trustee about what is happening with the assets inside the trust and you can also ask for copies of important documents that clarify when and how you will receive trust distributions. Bear in mind that as a beneficiary, you also have the legal right to hold a trustee accountable in court if they violate the law.




Will I Automatically Inherit My Husband’s House?

With no New Hampshire estate plan in place, your family could be exposed to serious issues with housing. Depending on how the home is owned and deeded, it might become a thorny part of your NH probate.automatically

Many people cannot afford to make estate planning mistakes that would jeopardize their ability to let their loved ones move on during this very difficult time. This is where the support and experience of a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer can be instrumental in protecting those interests. Naming someone on a deed is one possible way to transfer property to them but smart estate planning can make this process easier and minimize some of the problems.

Part of this will also depend on whether or not they have put together a will. A will allows you to name who will receive your property if something happens to you. With no will, even naming someone on the deed does not necessarily mean it will automatically transfer to them. If your home is “split” between your spouse and children and they don’t all agree as to what happens to it after you pass away, this can cause conflict, too.

If your spouse has surviving children from a previous marriage, this would mean that you may not be eligible to inherit the entire estate. Having a will that clearly stipulates who receives what and how can help you avoid these kinds of problems. Set aside a time to speak with an estate planning lawyer today if you own real property and would like to protect it or pass it on to a specific loved one.

If you need assistance with creating a NH estate plan addressing your needs, schedule a call with our office today.