For many parents, taking care of their next-of-kin is a primary consideration when establishing a comprehensive estate plan. However, depending on the assets a parent has, the most equitable way of dividing assets between multiple siblings can vary. For example, one child may show interest in maintaining the family home, while others might be more interested in liquidated assets. Here are some of the common ways Michigan parents split their estate when multiple children are involved:
- Leaving the house, including furnishings and other contents, to one child while other children inherit the remaining assets
- Instructing the executor to sell all assets, including the house and items therein, and then to split the proceeds
- Splitting assets of equal value between children
The above solutions are most often considered by individuals and couples who own at least one real estate property and who are interested in an equal (or nearly equal) distribution of assets between siblings. However, some families face slightly more complicated situations. For example, parents may wish to give one sibling less for a reason such as that particular sibling already having been given a large gift during the parents’ lifetimes. There are many other personal reasons for some parents to choose this route as well. Other parents may want to limit how beneficiaries utilize the assets and consider trusts for this reason.
Regardless of one’s preferences, there is no question that clearly documented estate plans prepared with the help of a lawyer can help set up a family for a more straightforward estate execution process. It can also help to minimize potential ambiguity and conflict between siblings after their parents pass away.