The Finance Blogger


Who Should You Leave Your Assets To

Who Should You Leave Your Assets ToWho Should You Leave Your Assets To? That may seem like a funny question to many people, yet many of us have a tough time trying to decide. Some like us just want to leave whatever we have equally to our kids. No favoritism and certainly not to create any more sadness than there already will be when we pass on. Some people prefer to divide their assets among their children based on perceived need. This happens a lot if one child has been very successful while the other has not. Still other folks say, my kids are adults they are on their own and I am going to spend my money and enjoy myself as much as possible. Another group would like to leave their assets to charity and just a little bit to their children. What is your plan? You should have a plan regardless of what your feelings are on this subject and you should put your intentions and plan in writing so that everyone understands what it is when you pass on.

What is the right answer? Well, it seems to vary for just about everyone. We will discuss some of the pro’s and con’s of various strategies.

Who Should You Leave Your Assets To

Divide Equally Among Our Children

This is the plan that I favor. I love my children and want them to know that we loved them both equally. So whatever assets are left when I pass along, I have decided to have the assets divided equally. My children should feel like they were treated equally and that they were both valued equally by their parents.

I am going to enjoy myself as much as possible so I will spend some of my estate before I pass along. In a way this approach overlaps a bit with one of the strategies below. Although I will spend some of my estate and I am not going to avoid travel etc so I can leave a large estate, I fully plan to have an estate that I will leave to my kids.

Divide Assets Based on Need

We have seen situations, were one child was deemed to be more in need of help than others. In this case the parent decided to leave a larger portion of the estate to that child at the expense of the other children. A great deal of pain was caused in the situations we are familiar with and the last thing we want to do is cause more pain.

One child may have a great job, all of the toys, the house the car etc, while the other has not been as fortunate. There are many reasons for this difference and we will not go into these differences here, we will just accept the notion that some kids just do better than others.

Although you are helping the child that is more in need, you are hurting the other children. You make them feel less in many ways and not as loved as much as the other child. This is a terrible thing to do in our opinion. One of the questions you need to ask yourself when you make these types of decisions, is how will the new found assets be managed by both kids. The child that is more in need is their for a reason. Perhaps they made some bad decisions through their life. Take these sorts of things into account.

Spend Your Savings

Another group of people feel they have worked hard throughout their lives and deserve to now reap the results of their savings during retirement. Spend all of their savings and enjoy life to the fullest. Well you can do this, but we think it is a nice legacy to leave something to your kids.

It is hard to know just how much you will need, because let’s face it we do not know how long we will live. You might spend all of your estate and then have to live destitute for the remainder of your life. That certainly is no fun. There is fine line between spending your estate, enjoying life and living comfortably. We think that it is better to save some money for your later years even if that means some will go to your kids or other family members.

Give to Charities

If you are wealthy , have no heirs or just want to leave your estate to a charity, choose carefully. There are many excellent charities who really do some good work and help people. Unfortunately there are lots that pay themselves well first and then if there is money left over they then put this towards the charity they were set up to help.

No Plan?

Not having a plan is probably the worst situation. If you do not have a plan, you probably do not have a will which means the government steps in and divides your assets amongst your relatives after they take their management fee’s. You can avoid all of this expense by having a simple will that says divide your assets among your heirs equally. It is pretty simple and you do not even need to name the heirs, just say your wife and kids if you have either.

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One Response to “Who Should You Leave Your Assets To”

  1. This is a really good post about dividing up your estate! Thanks

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