The challenge of passing on assets to children

Individuals just starting to think about estate planning in Tennessee may be wondering how to divide their assets among their children. When parents have more than one child, or children from prior marriages, it can be difficult to determine how to fairly split property and assets in a way that minimizes family drama. There are some items of property that cannot actually be divided in half, like a family home. Parents may consider instructing their children to sell the home and split the proceeds evenly, or they could ask their children whether any of them want to keep the home. If one child is able to buy another out of his or her interest in the house and is willing to do so in order to keep the home, parents and children can discuss whether this solution is feasible. Parents should also consider getting their children’s input on what they consider to be a fair distribution of assets, to see if any family quarrels can be resolved before the estate is prepared. Children may think of details that parents may not have otherwise considered, such as how much their parents spent on their education. A child who went to a state university may feel entitled to a larger sum of money than a child who went to a private one. Other serious considerations that some parents may need to take into account is whether one of their children has a substance abuse or credit problem. If this is the case, parents may want to appoint a guardian to manage that child’s money and distribute it only for necessities. These are just a few of the things to consider when drafting a will. An attorney who handles wills, estate planning and probate can help clients come up with an optimal plan.