In our last post we wrote about things that parents seeking to leave assets to their children can do to make the transfer easier. In this post we will look at steps children who are, or may be, slated to be beneficiaries of their parents estate, can take. Some of these tips should be considered while one's parents are still alive while the others apply following their deaths.
Perhaps the most important thing children can do is not rely upon receiving an inheritance. To avoid disappointment it is best to count on not receiving anything. This approach means that there will not be any bad surprises upon the death of one's parents.
Of course any mystery surrounding an inheritance could be resolved via communication. In our last post we mentioned the importance of parents speaking with their children about their plans for their assets. When parents fail to do this, their children can start the conversation. Because most do not want to appear greedy, the approach one takes in starting this conversation is important. When children share their own plans, it may prompt parents to talk about their own financial matter.
After the death of a parent it is sometimes difficult for family members to reconcile the wishes of the deceased. To try to avoid familial discord, it is important to remember that the assets are being distributed per the wishes of your parents and those wishes should be respected.
If a parent does name children as beneficiaries, it is wise to be smart about how the money is spent. An advisor can help to determine how the inheritance might best be put to use. Along these same lines, it is usually advisable to continue to save as one did before receiving the inheritance. If some of the money is used to pay for a splurge, the rest should be used in a manner that looks to the future.