Your in-laws may inherit assets intended for your grandchildren

Most estate plans inadvertently disinherit grandchildren when a child dies. Your wealth may go to your in-laws instead of your family.

Most estate plans say that if your child pre-deceases you then the assets will go to the child’s descendants (your grandchildren). The problem is that in the vast majority of cases the provision has no effect because, thankfully, your children survive you.

So what if the child survives you, inherits your assets, then dies? This is far more common. Children outlive their parents.

Most wills and trusts make no provision for this circumstance. The result is the child’s surviving spouse, your in-law takes the assets you intended for your grandchildren.

Most clients want their wealth to go from themselves, to their children, then to their grandchildren. A properly designed living trust can make sure your wealth stays in the family.
But what most people want may not be what you want. Each estate plan is designed to accomplish what you want to do.
First steps and initial meeting preparation: Mapping out a distribution pattern is a series of “what-ifs.” We usually speak in terms of children and grandchildren but the same analysis applies to other relatives and friends as well. Who would you want to receive a deceased child’s share under the following circumstances?

  • Your child (or other primary beneficiary) pre-deceases you?
  • Your child survives you, and subsequently dies with children?
  • Your child survives you, and subsequently dies with no children?

At each stage and for each beneficiary decide who you would want to inherit. A properly designed trust centered plan can keep control over the passing of your wealth from beneficiary to beneficiary, from generation to generation.

Call our office for a consultation. 847-674-0200. The fee for the initial consultation is $450. It typically takes about 1 to 1 ½ hours. The $450 is waived if you decide to go forward with your planning. The fee for the planning will depend on what you need and will be quoted at the consultation. It will be a fixed fee, not an hourly rate.