Sometimes, life does not go according to plan. While some people try to plan appropriately, there are often contingencies that life throws at us that we never expected. In many cases, especially in estate planning, long-term plans misjudge possible circumstances or even misjudge people.
Unfortunately, the following scenario happens all too often: Mom and Dad pass on leaving everything to their children. Then one son dies leaving everything, including family real estate and other investments they inherited, to his wife. A few years pass and that wife remarries. Now the new husband ends up being first in line to receive the family real estate and investments and not Mom and Dad’s grandchildren like they would have wanted.
Many people love their son-in-law or daughter-in law, but they may have their doubts about leaving them in charge of an inheritance meant to eventually go to grandchildren. If your son or daughter weren’t around to inherit your estate, would you 100% trust your daughter-in-law or son-in-law to do the right thing with your money?
Additional things to consider
- What if your son-in-law or daughter-in-law spends your money on frivolous trips or expensive cars? (Instead of giving the money to the grandchildren.)
- Would he or she get remarried? (Would you trust their new spouse?)
- Can you be sure your in-laws would spend your money on your grandchildren as it was intended? (Or is it possible your son/daughter in-law could spend it on their new spouse?)
It’s not what any family wants to think about, but these are very real contingencies that can happen over time. Couples naturally want to provide for each other when one of them passes on, but what happens when the second person passes on? There may be children or not. There may be favorite nieces and nephews, friends or siblings. How are property and assets divided?
Life is not simple and there are many potential events for which to plan. A good life and estate planning attorney or advisor will press you for more and more contingencies until he or she gets into some fairly remote possibilities. Also, there are ways to protect an inheritance for your children and grandchildren from misuse or frivolous spending by a son-in-law or daughter-in-law or potential divorcing spouses. Creating a comprehensive estate plan ensures that your assets end up with the grandchildren or other beneficiaries – as intended – even through life’s unforeseen circumstances.
If you have any additional questions or would like for our firm to assist you with Son/Daughter-In-Law Planning or other estate planning needs, then please contact our office at (919) 844-7993.