In the absence of a spouse and a will, your kids will be the people to inherit all of your estate. But should they have exclusive rights to your assets? Here are some things to consider.
Do They Need the Money?
There are many ways to provide for a child financially, and a will isn't the only option. If you think your children are going to make it financially on the path they're on, but other family members are struggling more, that is a common time to consider a split of assets that extends beyond the children.
What Will They Do with the Assets?
Sometimes, you may not be sure that your children will actually benefit from your assets. For example, consider a piece of property that you love, that you've spent years working on. Maybe your daughter wouldn't decide to live there and would sell the property. But, your nephew would probably choose to live in the property and keep building on it. In that sense, maybe you would feel more comfortable allocating that asset to a different family member.
Is There Anyone Else Who Could Benefit?
Outside of your children, is there anyone else in your life who would be grateful for some of your assets? Sometimes, spreading the wealth is an ideal strategy; making lots of people's lives a little better is sometimes better than completely changing a child's life by giving them all of your assets.
Should Certain Items Go to Certain People?
There is also the question of who gets what. In the absence of a will that defines this, a lawyer would account for all of the assets and split them among the children, in a somewhat arbitrary way. Does Samantha need to inherit those golf clubs if she's never been on the green? What is Ron going to do with your record player? Maybe you've met people in your life who might like these items and appreciate them more. In that case, including various people in your will and leaving specific items to them is a great idea.
The bottom line is that law office consulting is a great idea, at least to set up your initial will and understand how it is all going to work. When you consult with this person, they will also know the plan and be able to act as your guarantor, efficiently distributing your assets when the time comes.