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Dividing assets among children can be problematic

Most Massachusetts parents want to ensure that their children are cared for after they are gone. The question is how to divide their assets among the children in a way that will give each of them the most benefit. Every child is different, and simply dividing the assets up equally may not be the best solution.

One of the joys of being a parent is that no two children are alike. They each have their own personalities, strengths and weaknesses. In adulthood, this often means that one child is doing better financially than another. Each child has his or her own needs and resources when it comes to finances.

Because of this, providing for each child may mean giving one child a larger share of an estate than the others receive. This can cause hurt feelings and tension between the siblings if they do not understand the underlying reasons. Therefore, it may be beneficial for a parent to explain his or her reasoning to the children. This might eliminate -- or at least reduce -- any confrontations later.

Depending on the financial acumen of each child, documents such as trusts can allow a parent to control when and how a child receives his or her inheritance. Another child may be able to handle receiving his or her share of a parent's assets outright. Understandably, each family situation is different. Someone familiar with estate planning in Massachusetts can help an individual devise a plan that provides for each child in the manner desired.

Source: millionairecorner.com, "Dividing the Estate: Treat Your Children Well", Kent McDill, March 12, 2015

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