Some parents want to give everything to their children right now … but wait!
Unless you have an estate plan, before your children can inherit the estate it must to go through the probate process. That can be both expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, many parents decide to give their children everything now. However, it might be wise to reconsider, according to the Times Herald-Record in "Best not to transfer assets to children while parent still alive."
The most obvious problem with doing something like giving the children everything now, is that when ownership of something is transferred, the new owner has full legal rights to control that something. Once it becomes the child's property, the child gets to make all of the decisions concerning that property and they do not have to follow the wishes of the parent. It also means that if the child owes money to someone, the property can be subject to the claims of the creditor. Finally, there are all kinds of potential tax concerns, when giving property to another person.
You do not need to give everything away now to avoid probate. An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances.
Reference: Times Herald-Record (May 10, 2018) "Best not to transfer assets to children while parent still alive."
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