Some people find it easy to divide their estate between their chosen beneficiaries. However, others have more complex family and business circumstances. They can't necessarily simply divide their assets equally.
As part of the estate planning process, you can use equalisation tools to make this easier. How does estate equalisation work? What are its benefits?
What Is Estate Equalisation?
Estate equalisation helps you ensure that your assets are fairly divided among your beneficiaries. People often use this tool to ensure that all their children get an equal part of their estate when split division isn't an option.
So, for example, say that you have two children. One helps you run your business. They have helped you build the company, and you want them to take it over when you die. Your other child has never worked in the business and isn't interested in doing so. You are aware that the child who works with you will get a larger part of your estate if you leave the business to them. This isn't fair on your other child.
If you add equalisation to your estate planning, then you work out a way to split your assets equally between the two. For example, you can leave other assets to the child who isn't involved in your business or take out an insurance plan for a matching value so that they inherit the same amount of money as their sibling.
What Are the Benefits of Estate Equalisation?
Estate equalisation helps you split assets evenly and fairly. All of your beneficiaries will feel that they have been treated equally. They won't fall out over the conditions of your will or take legal action to challenge it. Your family won't fracture over money after your death.
If your business is part of your assets, then equalisation helps protect it in the future. The child who inherits it can continue to run it. It won't have to be sold or broken up to pay for a legal challenge after you die. You get the peace of mind of knowing that your business will go on in the future.
You can also use estate equalisation to ensure that beneficiaries with special needs get the financial help they will need after you die. For example, if you have a disabled child who will need care for the rest of their life, then you can ringfence assets or set up policies to cover this care in your will.
Estate equalisation can be hard to get right. To get expert advice and help setting up this plan, contact estate planning services, such as Neilson Stanton & Parkinson.