Do you know what happens to your estate or the disposition of your assets if you die without a will or other legal documents regarding how your estate should be settled?
In the absence of any legal arrangements, the laws of most jurisdictions provide for the outright distribution of an inheritance to a child who is at or beyond the age of majority (e.g., age 18 in most jurisdictions). Children, who are under the age of majority, receive their lump sum inheritance upon reaching that age. You worked hard to accumulate your wealth, so take some time to protect any inheritance you may leave for your children and from them until they are mature enough to make those decisions. Because here is a common occurrence: Following an outright distribution to your children, the full inheritance may fall prey to such common threats as divorces, lawsuits, bankruptcies or squandering.
The caring thing to do for your family is to start planning for the inevitable and help protect your children and the estate you left behind. Proper planning especially helps young adults make wiser choices with their money than most adults their age. Show your family how much you care by planning properly for the way your assets should be managed. Don’t have your heirs curse you for your lack of proper planning.
If you are unsure on how to proceed, our advice is for you to interview 2-3 estate attorneys or better yet get a referral from someone you trust.