Should You Leave an Inheritance for Your Children? Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA

Older parents are often confronted with a dilemma over whether they should save money so that their adult children can have an inheritance or whether the money should be spent by the parents to make their own lives more enjoyable. The solution is not a simple one.

Recent surveys suggest a failure-to-communicate exists between elderly parents and their adult children over the issue of the adult children’s inheritances. More parents plan to leave inheritances for their children than there are adult children who expect to receive an inheritance.

This discovery prompted Ron Lieber to write an opinion piece in The New York Times titled Parents, the Children Will Be Fine. Spend Their Inheritance Now.”

The title, of course, gives away Lieber’s opinion on the issue. He believes elderly parents should spend their money on themselves, even to the point of taking out “reverse mortgages” to tap the equity in their homes.

For many families, Lieber’s suggestion is a good one. If the children do not want or need an inheritance, then it is reasonable for elderly parents to use it for their own lifestyles, as long as they are not merely being wasteful. However, not every family is the same.

Some adult children might be counting on an inheritance to help advance their own lifestyles or to help grandchildren. Have you priced a college education lately? Some adult children have special needs that parents can support. And, some elderly parents might just want to leave an inheritance because that is what makes them happy.

The key for any family is to communicate. In the end, an elder law or estate planning attorney can develop a plan for whatever your family desires.

Reference: The New York Times (September 19, 2014) Parents, the Children Will Be Fine. Spend Their Inheritance Now

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“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

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- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

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I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

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