As recently discussed by Merrill Lynch in “Why Make Your Heirs Wait?” many people prefer to see results and the subject of gifting to heirs rather than leaving to descendants as a way of passing from one generation to the next.
The key points are:
- If you give to one heir now, other family members might wonder what is going on and might want a gift as well, even if they do not have a pressing need for it. You should talk to your family and make sure everyone knows that a gift now might make their eventual inheritances smaller.
- Do not give to your family for selfish reasons. Consider whether the receiver actually needs and wants the gift. Giving someone a responsibility they do not want or are not ready for could be a burden to them.
- Do not give away so much that you neglect your own needs. Before giving to anyone take stock of how much money you need for your own retirement and the effect the gift may have on your comprehensive estate plan.
An estate planning attorney can guide you on the best way to pass on your wealth to the next generation and help you develop a plan for gifting.
Reference: Merrill Lynch (Aug. 2016) “Why Make Your Heirs Wait?”