If you're entering your senior years, you've probably put some thought into whom you'd like to inherit your personal items and assets. For better or worse, some of your potential heirs may have also put some thought into the same thing.
In some cases, an heir may genuinely just want to know if they can have a particular item that has sentimental value -- and there's nothing wrong with asking about it outright. However, other heirs may be somewhat sneakier when it comes to getting what they want -- and they may be pretty greedy. You may even be surprised at how far some of your potential heirs are willing to go to get what they think is "their share" of your estate -- whether you're already gone or not.
- They ask about your estate plans -- and then want to see the documents. They then try to convince you to sign a new will or power of attorney that favor them rather than the people who are already listed.
- They offer to help you "clean up" your place and sort through your possessions -- and start walking off with valuables. You may even find that personal items, like jewelry and photographs, go missing after they "help."
- They ask for a "loan" to help them with their debts, buy a new car, fix up their house (or finance one). You suspect that they really don't have the means (or the intention of paying you back). Often, this is their way of making sure that they get what they feel is their due long before you pass away.
- You find them looking through your financial documents, asking questions about your money and other assets and generally being intrusive about your income and finances.
Don't let anyone push you into giving away your assets or giving them more than you intend. If you're having trouble withstanding the pressure from troublesome, greedy relatives, talk to your attorney about estate planning and asset protection solutions that can protect you.