How to leave money for your kids after you pass

Bottom line — it’s hard for parents to talk to their adult children about their estate and how it’s to be distributed after they’ve died. There are many reasons for this. Some parents fear that they may create an “air of entitlement” among their children if significant wealth is involved. Others are afraid of causing resentment and family rifts if they’re leaving more to one child vs another. Still other parents are self-conscious and even embarrassed about the size of their net worth — whether it’s greater or less than their children have assumed.

The good news is that you don’t have to have millions in your estate to be able to leave money for kids. But, regardless of your net worth, you do need to have some type of estate plan, such as a will or trust, in place to make sure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

A will enables you to lay out specific plans for how your assets – investments, your home, real estate, bank accounts and family heirlooms – should be divided among your surviving children. If you have a disabled adult child, a will enables you to name a guardian(s) for him or her and any property he or she may own.

A living trust, created during your lifetime, allows you to transfer assets and property from your name into the trust. The assets are distributed by a person of your choosing – the “successor trustee” – to divide among your children and other named beneficiaries. If the trust is revocable, you can change it at any time while you’re alive. Also, with living trusts, your surviving children won’t have to deal with the time and cost involved in probate.

Another option is to name your children as beneficiaries on your bank accounts or other retirement accounts such 401(k), IRA’s and Roth IRA’s. If you choose to do this, it’s important to make sure your beneficiary forms are current and up-to-date.

It’s never too early

If you want to leave money to your children but want to have more control over how the money is used, a trust fund may be a good option because it offers you a way to protect your assets long after you’ve passed them down.

You can place cash, real estate, stocks, and other valuable assets into the trust fund, determine who are the beneficiaries, and set stipulations for how the money is to be used and by whom, such as for education expenses, towards the purchase of a home, etc.

It’s never too soon to start planning for the future, but it can be disastrous for the children you leave behind if you don’t have an estate plan in place when you die. The Law Office of David W. Foley should be at the top of your list of attorneys to contact in Southern California for estate planning services.

Attorneys who understand

California estate planning attorney, David Foley and staff, specialize in all areas of estate planning. Our legal team is very knowledgeable when it comes to California laws with regards to estate planning. We can guide you through probate, creating trusts, wills, power of attorney documents, and more.

Call our office to schedule a free consultation with one of our living trust attorneys in San Diego, CA.

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