When writing an estate plan, it’s up to the testator to split assets how he or she sees fit. Arkansas residents may be wondering if they should be splitting assets equally among their children, but that is not a rule of estate planning. A plan can be tailored to fit individual needs, especially when one beneficiary is less well off than others, but communication is the key.
Most parents want to treat their children equally despite their individual circumstances. But if a parent chooses to leave more to one child than to another, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to the children when the time comes. It may only cause dissension between siblings and there may be other ways of evening out an inheritance that might not cause turmoil.
Sometimes splitting assets based on children’s economic circumstances may seem fair, but it might mean one child holding a grudge against the other or against a parent’s memory. When parents talk to their children about what they’re intending in an estate plan, it might give their children the opportunity to weigh in on the plan or to offer alternative suggestions that might be acceptable to everyone. Communication may go a long way to helping a parent develop an all-encompassing estate plan with which everyone agrees.
An Arkansas estate planning attorney can help a client to decide how best to set up an estate plan. He or she can explain various documents associated with a plan, including wills, trusts and powers of attorney. A lawyer will also make sure all documents are in order. He or she will also help a client to update any existing estate planning documents as life circumstances change.