If you’re anything like most parents, the most satisfying aspect of estate planning is knowing that you’re leaving behind an intergenerational legacy with the capacity to help your children reach new heights even when you’re no longer around to watch after them. However, children sometimes have big dreams that can’t always wait for an inheritance.

If your child has plans to start or expand a promising business that could take them a step closer to prosperity, you might be tempted to alter your estate plan, giving them a significant financial gift while you’re alive to see it put to good use. Giving your child an early inheritance

What to Consider Before Giving an Early Inheritance

Everyone can benefit from an early inheritance. Children can receive the resources they need to dream big, while parents are provided an opportunity to see a child succeed. However, early inheritance decisions can sometimes have negative consequences.

The Negative Results of Providing an Early Inheritance  

  • Reducing your retirement. While most Californians recognize the importance of saving for retirement, far too few adults have the resources they need to continue living comfortably after exiting the workforce. Before imparting an early inheritance, review your finances to ensure that a substantial gift won’t become a substantial risk.
  • Alienating other heirs. If you have more than one child, you might want to have a conversation with everyone before gifting the money needed to jumpstart a son or daughter’s business. If the venture seems like a risk or eventually fails, a financial gift could cause rifts within the family. 


Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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