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Home > Blog > Estate Planning > Questions Concerning Adult Children and Your Will

Questions Concerning Adult Children and Your Will


For parents, creating a will and other estate planning documents can help to ensure your children benefit from the assets you worked hard to accumulate over the course of your life. However, advance planning matters are rarely simple. If you have more than one adult child, there may be numerous factors to consider. The following highlights common questions clients ask our Bronx & Westchester estate planning attorneys:

Should My Adult Children All Inherit Equally?  

This is one of the most frequent concerns of parents with multiple adult children. You may be wondering whether you should reward your most successful or obedient child by leaving them more in your will or you may want to provide a little extra help to one who has been struggling.

Kiplinger advises that while you may love all your children equally, there is nothing to keep you from treating them somewhat differently in your will, depending on the situation. However, it is important to refrain from doing anything out of spite, to consider the long term ramifications on their relationships with one another, and discuss these matters openly with them so there are no unexpected surprises.

What Are My Options in Distributing an Inheritance? 

If you have accumulated a significant amount of wealth over the course of your lifetime, you may want to give some thought to how adult children receive distributions in your will. While one lump sum may be suitable in some cases, it could be a recipe for disaster in others.

Forbes advises that is you have any doubts, you can use a trust and other estate planning documents to parcel out distributions over the years. This can prevent adult children from being shortsighted and burning through their inheritance too quickly.

Can I Leave an Adult Child Out of My Will?

There are few things more painful than having an adult child who struggles with alcohol, is addicted to drugs, or engages in other harmful behaviors. There are also some cases where parents and their adult children simply have a falling out.

If it is a question of concern about their inheritance being wasted, you can use a trust to make distributions and to set conditions on how money should be spent. If it is a matter of simply not being a part of each other’s lives, you can disinherit them but be sure to specify this in your will.

Can I Provide for Future Generations?

In addition to providing for your adult children, you may also want to make plans so that future generations benefit from your efforts as well. Trusts and annuities can be used to ensure financial security or provide graduation or wedding gifts and down payments for homes to future grandchildren or great grandchildren who may not have even been born yet.

Let Us Help You Today 

At Cavallo & Cavallo, we are your neighborhood law firm. For answers to additional questions you might have, contact our New York estate planning attorneys and schedule a consultation in our office today.





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