Should You Give Your Kids Their Inheritance While You Are Still Alive? | ETF Trends

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By Rhonda Sherwood

An inheritance is traditionally a gift transferred to a child or grandchild after a person died. You don’t necessarily have to wait until you have passed to share some of your estate with your loved ones, however. Even if you ultimately decide not to give your kids their inheritance while you are still alive, it’s a good idea to discuss the contents of your will before you pass on.

Discuss your Plans for your Estate in Advance

Being open about how your estate will be divided in advance will avoid fighting among your survivors and hurt feelings after you have passed. The final decisions about how your money and property are to be divided on your death is yours, but you can still ask your children about any preferences they may have about certain items that you own, such as a cottage, jewelry, or even small personal items.

Some family members may have strong feelings about wanting a particular item, while others may not be interested in that piece at all. You won’t know how someone feels about family property unless you ask, and the answers you get may end up surprising you.

If you Decide to Give your Kids Their Inheritance While you are Still Alive

Once you have decided to give a gift, the next question to consider is when to give the money. By the time your child is in his or her mid-40s, he or she is probably mature enough to handle receiving a partial inheritance.

Keep in mind that if you choose to hand over a gift, your child can choose to do what he or she wishes with the money. The choices your child makes about what to do with the money may not be the same what you would do with the same kind of gift, and you need to be prepared to step back and let them do what they want with it.

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