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Rethinking asset distribution relating to houses, knickknacks

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2021 | Estate Planning

Most Arkansas parents want to make sure that their children inherit as much of their parents’ remaining estate as possible. The topic of asset distribution is something that often appeals to adult children because this can mean obtaining some valuable assets or cash that could help them with their own financial obligations or other matters. However, it does not always mean that the children would be happy to inherit knickknacks or even houses in some cases.

When families have multiple children, large assets, like the family home or beach house, are not always easily divided. Parents may want to leave a house to all of their children so that the kids can use it as needed, but that does not always work out in the fair way that parents expect. Often, children will end up arguing over who gets to use the house when or whether they should sell the house and divide the profits. In some cases, the latter scenario can work out but not always, especially if one child does not want to sell but also cannot afford to buy out the other siblings.

Other items to reconsider leaving to the kids include:

  • China sets or expensive special-occasion wares
  • Collections or collectible items, especially if the children have no interest in the collected item or do not know what they are worth
  • Items that are sentimental to the parent but have little to no meaning for the kids

Discussing asset distribution and estate planning with the kids is the best way to avoid saddling adult children with items that they do not need or want. It could also ensure that significant assets like a house are handled as best as possible, even if that means instructing the house to be sold and the profits divided. This discussion could also allow Arkansas parents to determine whether there are any assets they could sell or donate ahead of time to avoid placing that burden on their children later.