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Estate planning for adult children takes careful consideration

Losing a parent is never an easy thing to face, and the matter can be further complicated by surprises in the will. While every family in Oklahoma has its own unique needs, there are a few steps that most people can take to prevent sibling rivalry during estate distribution. However, this aspect of estate planning also involves keeping adult children up-to-date on the terms of a will and any trusts.

Pot trusts used to be a popular choice for leaving an inheritance to adult children. On the surface, it makes sense. A pot trust is set up with all of the children named as beneficiaries, giving them access to assets and finances through the flexibility of the trust. While it makes it easy for those who have financial troubles to have quick access to funds, it can also stir sibling rivalry, since the trustee is typically under no obligation to divvy up the funds in an equal manner.

Once a parent has died, parental love is often viewed through the lens of received inheritances, which is why one expert often advises against unequal shares for kids. Leaving different-sized inheritances can also highlight long-suspected parental favorites. Instead, it can be more appropriate to leave everyone equal portions, while remaining committed to helping the kids on an as-needed basis during life.

Just like there is no one right way to raise a child, there is no single answer to leaving an inheritance. Oklahoma parents who are aware of sibling rivalry and jealousy might find that leaving equal inheritances to adult children is one of the best ways to circumvent the contesting of wills or a lengthy probate process. No matter what an individual's needs are, estate planning requires careful attention to detail with a focus on the future.

Source: TIME, "How Parents Can Keep Their Grown Kids From Fighting About Money", Alexandra Mondalek, April 8, 2016

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