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Using a Blend of Wealth Allocation Strategies for Optimal Estate Planning

Weber Law May 5, 2018

Did you know that it is not only possible, but it is also a good idea to use three different methods of wealth distribution – equal, fair, and equitable – in your estate plan? By combining these three distribution strategies, you can give your heirs access to the resources that you have acquired both during your lifetime and after you pass away in ways that enrich each of their lives, albeit not in the same ways.

For example, many parents choose, during their lifetimes, to pay for some or all of their children’s education. While one child might be able to pursue the career they desire with a college degree, another may prefer to continue through graduate school or attend a trade school. Whichever choice each child makes, your financial support for each of them in attaining the level of education that they need is an excellent example of wealth distribution that is different for each child but fair because it accomplishes the same purpose for each of them. Perhaps you are more interested in supporting other types of endeavors for your children, such as giving each of them help with buying their first home, starting a business, or some other areas of spending in which you feel would benefit your children the most. These are also fair distributions if each child gets a similar opportunity. Parents and children benefit greatly when these transfers of wealth occur during the parents’ lifetimes so that they can enjoy the opportunities that they afford.

As far as planning for the distribution of your estate when you pass away, equitable gifts to people that you wish to give to for specific reasons might make up a portion of those that you include in your estate. Many people use these equitable gifts to reward, acknowledge, and recognize the contributions that others have made to their lives. Some types of equitable gifts that could be made in an estate plan include bequests to people who provided care for you, distributions to some or all of the employees of your business, gifts to friends or colleagues who hold a special place in your heart, or contributions to organizations that do work that you care about and wish to support by donating money or resources.

The concept of equal giving is best used in estate plans when it comes to distributing a portion of your estate among your children. While each child’s share may be made up of different items or resources, be sure to get accurate valuations of all of your assets and financial resources. Use that information to create shares of this portion of your estate that are of approximately equal value. These gifts provide a measure of financial security for your children and possibly their children as well. Since your children are each receiving equal shares, they are less likely to harbor ill will towards each other than if the shares were not equal.

Schedule your consultation with Wichita estate planning attorney J. Joseph Weber, P.A. today, by calling us. Our location in Wichita is open weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We sometimes offer weekend or evening hours by appointment, and the opportunity to connect with us online through our website.