What is the best way to pass on an inheritance?
Early conversations and estate planning can enable more meaningful gifts.
Preserving the value of your inheritance
If there are things your children don’t want, consider having high-value items appraised by a professional. And, if any of your furniture, paintings or other items are valuable, let your children know who to contact if they eventually choose to sell (i.e., auction house, collector or specialist). If your children don’t fully understand the value of your belongings, they could sell valuable items for pennies on the dollar at an estate sale.
In the meantime, consider going through your possessions and minimizing what you keep, as suggested by Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. As you pick up each item, ask yourself whether it sparks a feeling of joy and fits into your ideal lifestyle. If it does, keep it. If not, discard it. This process helps you identify exactly what you love – and what you need, Kondo believes. And when you pass these items on to your heirs, you’re giving them more than just possessions. You’re conveying to them at the same time a sense of your personal values.
No matter what you’re passing on to your heirs, it’s best to do so as part of an overall financial plan. Consult with your financial planner and estate attorney to discuss the best ways to pass on an inheritance and help secure your legacy for future generations.
Neither Edelman Financial Engines nor its affiliates offer tax or legal advice. Interested parties are strongly encouraged to include your qualified tax and/or legal professionals in these discussions and decisions to help determine the best options for your particular circumstances.