What to do if you're concerned about too big of an inheritance

For many Californians, estate planning is about setting their loved one's up for as much financial stability as possible. In many cases, this means splitting an estate amongst children or leaving everything to a surviving spouse. While many individuals wish they had more assets to leave to their loved ones, there are some instances where an estate planner may be concerned about leaving too much.

The fear is quite simple. Those who have worked hard to accumulate their wealth often worry that leaving a significant amount of wealth to their children will destroy any motivation those children may have to work hard and contribute to society. While there is no evidence to suggest that this is a well-founded fear, there is some suggestion that inheriting significant wealth early in life can lead to a certain amount of societal isolation.

Since the estate planning process is so customizable, individuals who worry about leaving too much to their loved ones can tailor their approach to fit their needs. In many instances, an estate planner can identify a set amount to leave a loved one based on the circumstances and goals at hand. Then, the remainder of assets can be left to charitable organizations. One way to ease the blow that some heirs may feel when they learn that they will not inherit as much as they hoped is to allow them to decide which charitable organizations will receive the remainder of the estate.

Deciding how to leave one's estate can be challenging. One way to make it easier is to be open and honest with oneself, heirs and beneficiaries. This will set realistic expectations and create a roadmap that leads toward one's goals.

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