A very common mistake in estate planning is using a blanket statement that gives all of your real and personal property equally to your designated beneficiaries (ex. your children). The reason this may not work out equally is that some items, like farms or businesses, cannot be divided equally.
If one of the beneficiaries has an active role in the business while the others do not, an equal designation may not be the most practical solution to help you achieve your goals with the business.
It’s also important to consider whether any beneficiaries may be minors or receiving any type of government aid that would be affected by an inheritance.
Sometimes to achieve your goals you need to designate specific bequests and use trust language. Treating beneficiaries differently or unequally may be a difficult decision, but it may be the only way to ultimately achieve your goals with respect to how your assets are transferred and preserved.
Don’t use a form or a blanket statement in your estate planning documents without discussing your particular facts with an experienced estate planning attorney. If you live in the Baltimore area, call 443-470-3599 for an appointment.