As if a death in the family weren't already enough to deal with, cases of unexpected inheritance can often lead loved ones into fights, fallouts, and even lawsuits. To prevent such familial discord, some personal finance experts are advising their clients to take a different path when it comes to inheritance: In short, leave out the surprise part.
Not only will advance notice and frank conversation alleviate infighting, these experts argue, but they'll also prepare heirs to make better financial decisions with the gift that they receive, no matter the amount.
According to a national study by Ohio State University last year, adults who were given an inheritance only saved about half of what they gained.
Have you discussed the details of your will with your loved ones? Do you think that transparency is effective in preventing a blowout, or does it simply start the fight sooner rather than later? Have you yourself been caught up in the drama of a surprise inheritance? Do you even expect to be the subject of an inheritance?
Robert Powell, Editor of Retirement Weekly