CHALLENGES WITH SETTING UP FIRST WILL

People who are crafting their first will at a relatively advanced age sometimes struggle with the specific provisions that are commonly included in such estate administration documents. They worry that their children will not receive their full inheritance if the younger generations get divorced. They also fret over whether their children will turn out to be good people; should the child still receive the inheritance if the relationship deteriorates?

These questions can stall the will-writing process, causing people to choose impractical provisions that limit the ability of lawyers to distribute inheritance funds. Experts say that by taking certain steps, you can guarantee that your money is spent in the fashion you desire without creating a complicated legal mess for others to execute.

First, parents who may be concerned about a “bad apple” child can stipulate that inheritances may not be distributed to people who abuse alcohol or drugs. Criminal activity can also be included in these provisions.

Additionally, prenuptial agreements can provide extra protection for married adult children who are concerned about their parents’ estate distribution. Even if they are already married, they can craft postnuptial agreements that can protect inheritance funds from property distribution during divorce proceedings.

Some people advocate parceling out inheritance funds throughout children’s lives, perhaps releasing some funds after college, graduate school or marriage. This could allow parents to control the flow of cash while still ensuring that their children receive their fair due.

People who are crafting their first estate plan should also carefully consider who they would like to have as a trustee or administrator of their will. This could be a family member or friend, but sometimes an impartial attorney can be the best option. Think about who you trust the most.

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Written by Luis E. Barreto

Luis E. Barreto

Luis is a probate and guardianship litigator with over 23 years of experience in the field. Determination of heirs, will contests, breaches of fiduciary duty, removal of personal representatives, guardians and trustees are just some of the types of litigation he addresses. In addition, he administers non-contested estates and guardianships.