In the coming years, in one way or another, we are all going to be part of the greatest wealth transfer in human history. It has been predicted that the Baby Boomer generation will begin passing assets down to their children and grandchildren that could total around $30 trillion. It’s an incredible amount of money that will be changing hands, and it is certain to be a complex process.
Another thing that is all but certain is that this wealth transfer is going to lead to estate disputes. Younger generations are going to be very conscious of what they are receiving, what they want to receive, what they expect and how this process is carried out.
The rise of unequal bequests
For example, unequal bequests have become more common in recent years, meaning that parents are not necessarily splitting their wealth up equally between their children. Parents certainly do have the right to divide their wealth as they see, fit, and they can disinherit certain children or leave them far less than other beneficiaries. But this can lead to estate disputes when people think that the will isn’t fair, or they may even allege that the will is fraudulent or the product of something like undue influence.
But even when bequests are equal, the sheer amount of money that is changing hands means that disputes may occur. Many younger people may find themselves in difficult financial situations where they struggle to make ends meet or find jobs that pay enough for the increasing cost of living. They may see this inheritance as their only way to have financial success, which can lead to arguments and disagreements about who should get which assets or how money should be divided.
When these complications arise, it’s very important for all involved to understand the legal steps they can take at that time.