As much as we'd like to think that our heirs and survivors will come together in grief after we're gone, that isn't always the case. Family in-fighting, resentment, anger, greed, and old "scores to settle" often rear their ugly heads in the aftermath - or just before - a loved one's death.
Media sources confirmed on July 10 that a single beneficiary is set to inherit Carrie Fisher's multi-million dollar estate in California. Court documents indicate that the late actress's only child, Billie Lourd, will inherit the estate and most of Fisher's belongings. According to court records, the 24-year-old Lourd will also control the rights to her mother's public image.
Receiving a major inheritance can feel like a gift. However, beneficiaries in California should understand that overseeing a large sum of money also involves a lot of responsibility. The mishandling of money may be a result of unexpected fees or bad decisions made due to high emotions. A large percent of people mismanage and lose much of their inheritances.
When it comes to inheritance, most people think that they will get what they deserve and that the process is simple. "I was the grantor's son/spouse/relative, therefore I'll get what I'm supposed to get," or so the thought process goes. However, there are very specific laws and guidelines for dealing with inheritance and it is important for everyone to realize where they stand when an estate is executed and administered.
For parents, creating an estate plan includes more than creating a living will, signing a few powers of attorney and deciding what kind of burial is preferred. Having children and even grandchildren typically means planning what kind of inheritance to leave behind. However, many parents in California are increasingly concerned about their children's spending habits and how that might affect their inheritances.
Learning that a loved one has left you an inheritance is not an every day experience. This may be especially true if you were not particularly close to the person, or if you did not have any idea that your loved one had so much money stashed away.
It is estimated that baby boomer parents in the United States will transfer more than $30 trillion to their children over the next 30 to 40 years. While the economy will have a lot to do with whether that number rises or falls, distributing it, especially if there are multiple children poised to be beneficiaries, may be difficult.
When people develop estate plans, a common goal is to leave something for their heirs. After all, leaving a legacy becomes more important as people age. But while a large majority of people who put together estate plans intend to leave money to children or other beneficiaries, many wonder whether they are leaving too much or whether a sibling rivalry will be started by differing the amounts to be left to different children.