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Minimizing conflict among children with estate planning

Many New Jersey parents are put in an impossible situation when it comes to leaving an inheritance to more than one child. Even if the estate is divided equally, conflicts could result. In order to minimize these conflicts, it may help to begin the estate planning process early.

Some parents wish to give more to a child who makes less money rather than the other children. This could cause animosity among the children, however. Perhaps giving each child an equal share after death, but providing gifts to a child that needs more assistance during life, would help ease those tensions.

Parents sometimes loan their children money that never is paid back for one reason or another. Other children can resent this. If the parents choose to do so, they could give extra money to the other children to offset the amount loaned -- and ultimately considered gifted -- to the other child.

Of course, it is typically an individual's choice as to how to leave money to children. Even if ill feelings could arise, a parent has the right to leave his or her money in any way he or she chooses. Parents can forewarn their children if they choose, or they can forestall any potential conflicts through carefully worded estate-planning documents.

Nearly every New Jersey parent wants his or her children to be happy. However, in some cases, someone will always be disappointed, if even a little. When it comes to estate planning, parents need to do what they feel is right for each child. Whatever that means for the person creating the estate plan, it will be what he or she considers to be the best for each child.

Source: wcsh6.com, "For best results, start estate planning early", Kacie Yearout, May 9, 2014

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