We’ve all heard of families where relationships were harmed by the way an inheritance was handled
If you don’t wanna be “one of THOSE families”, stick around.
Today, we’re talking about
5 Things you Need to Know, about Family Inheritance
- Big or Small, the same issues arise
You don’t need to be a gazillionaire to be affected.
Sometimes, siblings never speak to each other again, even in cases where the inheritance barely covers the cost of the funeral.
Rule 1 is:
Don’t assume that there isn’t enough to worry about
- A WILL is the Key
People who don’t have a will, think they’ve got plenty of time to take care of it, “later”.
There are cemeteries full of people who guessed wrong on that.
You need a will, AND it needs to be current, so review it every five years.
So, Rule 2 is:
Make sure you have a legal will, no excuses!
- A Will isn’t Enough
If you’ve got a current will and you think you’re in the clear, well, sorry, there’s more…
Do the people who’ll inherit your assets KNOW what they’ll be inheriting?
There NEEDS to be some basic communication about this,
to make sure that everyone understands what’s gonna happen.
AND, If you can let them all know, together, at the same time, that’s even better.
When people have to assume, and they all have different expectations, it’s a recipe for trouble.
So Rule #3 is:
Your heirs need to know what’s coming
- “Pre-Mediation” Can Make Sense
In a mediation, people are brought together, with a neutral third party, and they examine everyone’s interests, to work towards a satisfactory conclusion.
The idea of pre-mediating is to put the scenario on the table with the parties before it comes into play.
If you already know, that what you’re leaving your heirs, is gonna cause problems after you’re gone, why wouldn’t you wanna re-adjust things, while you still can?
If this idea scares you, it’s a pretty good sign that you could really benefit from this.
So Rule #4 is:
Play out the details while you still can
5 “Surprise” is NOT a Good Thing
Tom Deans wrote the book Willing Wisdom and I’ve heard him speak several times.
He describes a sound, that lawyers tell him they sometimes hear at the reading of a will.
When there’s an heir, who’s caught by surprise, there’s a gasping sound, like: “aaargh” or “euhhhh”.
That surprised sound, coming from any of your heirs, is NOT what you should be going for.
So Rule #5 is:
Let your family grieve and celebrate your life, not shake their heads in disbelief.
I hope you got something useful here today, and I’ll see you next time.