Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

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Broken Man 1999
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Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:49 pm

I have to do a couple of minor changes to our estate plan, and though I have thought about it some, I am interested in what others have done about sons/daughters-in-law legacy gifts.

When I received an inheritance from my father I gifted DDs a sum of money. And, I bought each son-in-law a Rolex watch as a gift to them. I wanted to show appreciation for their efforts for their families, and our daughters.

Our sons-in-law are the fathers of our grandchildren, and they will be always be important to us. They are both great fathers, very involved with their children.

I am curious if anyone has considered any legacy for the individuals their sons or daughters have married.

I'm not thinking of hundreds of thousands, just an amount to let them know how much I hold them in respect, and affection.

So, any one who might have, or might be considering such an activity?

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Hockey10 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:56 pm

If you can afford it, why not give the sons-in-law a gift while you are alive. That way you don't have to make any changes to your estate plan specific to this idea.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by TSR » Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:59 pm

Your sons-in-law will benefit from any money that their spouses receive at the time of your passing, and they will not feel slighted not to be specifically mentioned. However, because the future is very uncertain, you run a risk (however unlikely it may seem to you today) that one or more of your children will divorce at some future date and feel slighted that your will still contains a provision specifically gifting part of your estate to their ex. To me that would weigh slightly in favor of keeping the will simple and giving only to your children.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by 123 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:03 pm

Hockey10 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:56 pm
If you can afford it, why not give the sons-in-law a gift while you are alive. That way you don't have to make any changes to your estate plan specific to this idea.
Good idea. What if marital difficulties arise? How would you feel about committing to giving an inheritance to someone who becomes an "ex" prior to receipt of the inheritance. Once you redo your estate plan significant changes might be desired later when you're unable to effectuate them due to changes in circumstances.
Last edited by 123 on Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Isabelle77 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:05 pm

I would not specifically gift them in your will or trust. We have to go and update our will that had my brother in law as executor after discovering that everything we thought we knew about him was a lie.

Trust your daughters and maybe write a nice letter to your sons in law.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by HomeStretch » Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:08 pm

I like your idea of money bequests to one’s children and a gift like the Rolexes you chose for in laws to acknowledge the family tie. I will keep this in mind when my children get married. Spouse and I are lucky to share a close relationship with each other’s parents. I will mourn my in-laws passing as much as my own parents. While I will not feel “slighted” if they leave a money bequest to my spouse only, I would be incredibly touched to have a gift or memento from them to remember them by and as a tribute to our close bond.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:09 pm

If the grandchildren are still young, gift them a 529 plan, now. You don't have to give the sons in law a separate gift. You may also want to consider just writing a check to Mr. and Mrs. DD1 ~ the money goes to both daughter and son in law to do as they please. The main money goes to your daughter only. I don't think the sons in law's will be miffed or upset and if they are, well that is on them. In the end, they likely have benefited or will benefit from your gifts along the way and the 529 plans will be that much less they need to contribute to.
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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:27 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:09 pm
If the grandchildren are still young, gift them a 529 plan, now. You don't have to give the sons in law a separate gift. You may also want to consider just writing a check to Mr. and Mrs. DD1 ~ the money goes to both daughter and son in law to do as they please. The main money goes to your daughter only. I don't think the sons in law's will be miffed or upset and if they are, well that is on them. In the end, they likely have benefited or will benefit from your gifts along the way and the 529 plans will be that much less they need to contribute to.
Well, the four grandchildren have prepaid tuition plans already paid for and 529 plans are being funded monthly, so the grandchildren have all been backstopped to educations mostly paid for at least to the most expensive university in the State of Florida university system. So I'm good on that issue.

I hope the Rolex watches go to the grandsons, ultimately. But they are the SILs to do as they wish.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:42 pm

HomeStretch wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:08 pm
I like your idea of money bequests to one’s children and a gift like the Rolexes you chose for in laws to acknowledge the family tie. I will keep this in mind when my children get married. Spouse and I are lucky to share a close relationship with each other’s parents. I will mourn my in-laws passing as much as my own parents. While I will not feel “slighted” if they leave a money bequest to my spouse only, I would be incredibly touched to have a gift or memento from them to remember them by and as a tribute to our close bond.
That is kinda the way I think. They will always be the fathers of our grandchildren, no matter their relationship to my daughters. Obviously if they become abusive to my daughters or grandchildren, that would certainly change my feeling of generosity. Even if my daughters divorced them, they would still be important because of the grandchildren.

Both my parents, and DW's parents are deceased. We did take in DW's mother for the last few years of her life as she was unable to support herself. She didn't come willingly, but she was appreciative of being able to enjoy her great-grandchildren. DW's father was able to live well in his retirement and the retirement of his third wife. She is alive, but not local. He passed several years ago.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:48 pm

Hockey10 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:56 pm
If you can afford it, why not give the sons-in-law a gift while you are alive. That way you don't have to make any changes to your estate plan specific to this idea.
Currently every amount we withdraw is taxed. But when RMDs start, perhaps I could do a gift then, as it is is probable the RMDs will not be used totally, and any surplus would have been taxed anyway.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by FIREchief » Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:56 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:49 pm
I'm not thinking of hundreds of thousands, just an amount to let them know how much I hold them in respect, and affection.
Since you asked.... I think it would be far more meaningful to simply sit down with each of them, one on one, for a few minutes so that you can tell them face to face how much you like and respect them. It may just be me, but that would have been far more meaningful to me (from my own MIL/FIL) than a watch or token inheritance.
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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by sergeant » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:09 pm

The Rolex seems more than enough. I had a good father in law. I never expected anything other than his support.
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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by a_movable_life » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:16 pm

"Beyond the Grave Revised Edition: The Right Way and the Wrong Way of Leaving Money To Your Children (and Others)" by Jeffrey L. Condon may be a good read to look at the overall picture.

A couple things to consider is if you have the means begin to gift money while alive. I hope you have a long, and healthy time before your Will is executed. With people living longer getting money sooner allows for it grow for them tax free if invested and help their long term planning.

Secondly for anyone who is reading this in the future, I don't suggest getting expensive items like the watches described above. Unless you know the person is really into watches and what their tastes are. Also some people are not comfortable wearing a "Status" symbol because of their own values, what they think other people will think of them, or personal safety depending on work location.

It can set up a situation that they may only wear it when they visit you and vice versa. The rest of the time it sits in a drawer. They also need cleaning/maintenance and should be insured usually needing a rider on a homeowners policy.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by renue74 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:21 pm

Keep it simple. Leave any money to you children and assume that money will help their families....everybody in the family.

I never understood the whole keeping inheritances separate funds and not comingle them. Seems selfish. I would expect my wife to put any $ she receives into out joint taxable account and we move forward. I would do the same.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by WoodSpinner » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:40 pm

OP,

When my mother passed away she left her children a generous inheritance and each of our spouses a smaller bequest.

I can tell you that it really moved my wife and made her feel special and appreciated.

Our plans are to leave most of the estate to our daughter but a portion to my son-in-law as well.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by AlphaLess » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:32 am

Some random thoughts:

1. My favorite watch is my crappy, $100 fitbit. It pains me when I run one down, and I need to get a new one. A rolex? Puff. That is more of a liability to me,

2. I used to think that my in-laws were well off. At this point I think that by 65, me and my spouse will probably have the 10x-20x of what my in-laws have (inflation adjusted): and believe me, they are self-sufficient in retirement.

We probably have more money than both of our sets of parents combined. If we push a bit hard, work a bit long, spend a bit less, and live a bit more, we might end up with $100MM come judgement day. Heck, I am thinking we need to insure the tail end of our parents' years,

3. Inheritance is hard to get right. Some people are advising: no point in leaving inheritance to the d-in-law, i-in-law, because there could be divorce. But say, the d-in-law or s-in-law is the main earner (by a wide margin), and what happens during a divorce? That same
x-in-law will need to support the spouse (your child), and *YOUR* grand-kids. How would you feel if the x-in-law felt like they no longer need to support your adult child? Of course, there are marital dissolution laws, etc. But why the asymmetric thinking?

I much like the idea that the x-in-law is the parent of your grandchildren, and as such, they are related to you, whether or not there is a future divorce. Now, there are exceptions: drug addict, con artist, abuser, etc.

4. Probably the right way to think about this is generational wealth and tax planning. It is hard to get money to last more than 3 generations (taxation, inflation, hedonism, and mismanagement end up eating up most of it).
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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Afty » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:13 am

When my mom passed, she left a substantial amount to my wife. It sent a message that my mom viewed her almost like her own daughter, and meant a lot to both of us.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Goal33 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:15 am

As a son-in-law myself... if her parents helped with a down payment that would have really made life easier. That’s my suggestion. If they are past that, offer to pay for kids college and put the money in a 529 now to grow. As for myself, my biggest obligation is making sure my family is taken care of and that gift would really help reduce that stress. Less stress would mean a longer and happier life with their daughter. A Rolex would make me feel uncomfortable because it’s too fancy for me personally.
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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Luke Duke » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:54 am

I'm not a watch guy by any means. My current watch is a fogged up $100 Fossil. I would definitely appreciate a Rolex and a heartfelt note. The Rolex would get worn a handful of times a year for the rest of my life and both the note and watch would be passed down to my son.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:59 am

Used to work for a jewelry company. What many don't realize are that Rolex watches are actually not very accurate. In addition, they are tremendously overpriced because Rolex controls distribution very tightly. The company I worked for did hundreds of millions a year in sales, but we could not sell Rolex because in addition to retail we had catalog and internet, and that's a no-no.

Rolex also sends a message to people about the person wearing it that I don't wish to convey myself.

I do applaud the OP wanting to acknowledge his sons-in-laws, quite admirable.
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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by marti038 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:07 pm

When I was in my 20s my MIL mentioned off hand that her (and her husband's) goal was to leave each child and child-in-law at least $1M when they pass. At the time I thought, "Wow. That's a lot of money. I didn't realize they were doing THAT well."

Fast forward 10 years or so and I really couldn't care less about any money they leave me or DW. It pales in comparison to gestures like taking care of their grandchildren so DW and I can have a night or even a weekend out. Even comments that indicate a since of pride or satisfaction in having me as a SIL are far more valuable than gifts or money.

Since the OP's grandchildren have well-funded educational savings, he/she might consider paying for some trips/vacations/experiences as a family with the goal of expressing affections while enjoying those experiences as a family. Maybe let the SIL's pick the destination? We seem to treasure memories like those in our family quite a bit.

It is admirable that you want to honor them though. You sound like a good parent. Good for you.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:37 pm

renue74 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:21 pm
Keep it simple. Leave any money to you children and assume that money will help their families....everybody in the family.

I never understood the whole keeping inheritances separate funds and not comingle them. Seems selfish. I would expect my wife to put any $ she receives into out joint taxable account and we move forward. I would do the same.
Assumptions simply are not acceptable. Too many ways to go wrong. If I intend to give a gift, I want no one as an intermediary. I don't know who that intermediary between myself and my intended recipient might be. Today I know. But I don't know the future, so I think it is important to set up my desires such that I don't need to worry about it.

I think the reasons some consider keeping inheritances/gifts out of joint accounts has been pretty well hashed out in a recent discussion. I fall into the category of not commingling. Seems foolish of me to pay for legal advice, then not use it.

If the inheritances/gifts are not used for the benefit of the family, perhaps that could be considered selfish. I don't see how the titling of an account can be seen as selfish, but, your opinion is important to you on that issue.

Most anyone who has responded on the recent discussion who had received an inheritance, and didn't commingle the funds, has or will use it for the benefit of the family.
AlphaLess wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:32 am
Some random thoughts:

1. My favorite watch is my crappy, $100 fitbit. It pains me when I run one down, and I need to get a new one. A rolex? Puff. That is more of a liability to me,

Well, the Rolex watches were selected because I thought it might be something worthwhile to pass forward. SIL to grandson to who knows?

2. I used to think that my in-laws were well off. At this point I think that by 65, me and my spouse will probably have the 10x-20x of what my in-laws have (inflation adjusted): and believe me, they are self-sufficient in retirement.

We probably have more money than both of our sets of parents combined. If we push a bit hard, work a bit long, spend a bit less, and live a bit more, we might end up with $100MM come judgement day. Heck, I am thinking we need to insure the tail end of our parents' years,

3. Inheritance is hard to get right. Some people are advising: no point in leaving inheritance to the d-in-law, i-in-law, because there could be divorce. But say, the d-in-law or s-in-law is the main earner (by a wide margin), and what happens during a divorce? That same
x-in-law will need to support the spouse (your child), and *YOUR* grand-kids. How would you feel if the x-in-law felt like they no longer need to support your adult child? Of course, there are marital dissolution laws, etc. But why the asymmetric thinking?

Who has asymmetric thinking? Are you assuming DDs could need ex-SILs to support them? Perhaps it is the reverse.

I much like the idea that the x-in-law is the parent of your grandchildren, and as such, they are related to you, whether or not there is a future divorce. Now, there are exceptions: drug addict, con artist, abuser, etc.

Yes, important to us simply by being the fathers of our grandchildren, and being a great father to them

4. Probably the right way to think about this is generational wealth and tax planning. It is hard to get money to last more than 3 generations (taxation, inflation, hedonism, and mismanagement end up eating up most of it).

Truthfully, I'm not shooting for anything other than gifting to the ones we know. I'll be glad to let the next generations decide if they want to pass some forward, if there is anything to pass.
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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:35 pm

Thank you to those who offered ideas/support!

One thing I found out was I am not the only one who has considered or is considering SILs and DILs in their legacy plans.

Truthfully I had no idea where anyone might stand on the question.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by not4me » Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:28 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:49 pm

When I received an inheritance from my father I gifted DDs a sum of money. And, I bought each son-in-law a Rolex watch as a gift to them. I wanted to show appreciation for their efforts for their families, and our daughters.

This brought up an interesting twist to me. Thus far, ours have handled this aspect similarly to how we have -- a gift to one is a gift to both spouses. But, there's a bit of a difference when non-cash things are given. The Rolex MAY become a keepsake -- kinda grandpa's old watch thing. So, the legacy gift of cash might be different than heirloom/keepsakes. Guess if you had one watch & 2 SILs then you might have a problem with great-grandpa's watch. As a side note, I have a watch that has been passed down to me. Original owner? Depending on who in the family is asked, there are 3 possibilities. I still have it, but am somewhat confident (based on shape, etc), it really has no value!

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:04 pm

not4me wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:28 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:49 pm

When I received an inheritance from my father I gifted DDs a sum of money. And, I bought each son-in-law a Rolex watch as a gift to them. I wanted to show appreciation for their efforts for their families, and our daughters.

This brought up an interesting twist to me. Thus far, ours have handled this aspect similarly to how we have -- a gift to one is a gift to both spouses. But, there's a bit of a difference when non-cash things are given. The Rolex MAY become a keepsake -- kinda grandpa's old watch thing. So, the legacy gift of cash might be different than heirloom/keepsakes. Guess if you had one watch & 2 SILs then you might have a problem with great-grandpa's watch. As a side note, I have a watch that has been passed down to me. Original owner? Depending on who in the family is asked, there are 3 possibilities. I still have it, but am somewhat confident (based on shape, etc), it really has no value!
One of my prized possessions is my father's watch, a Timex. Means a lot to me. Anyone else, probably not.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by delamer » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:19 pm

This is an interesting issue.

We don’t have any children-in-law at this time, but we expect that to change very soon. :D

I don’t see us leaving any money to a child-in-law. I’d want it all to go to our descendants. In the event that children and (hopefully) future grandchildren don’t survive us, I’d want our assets to go to charity.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:24 pm

renue74 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:21 pm
Keep it simple. Leave any money to you children and assume that money will help their families....everybody in the family.

I never understood the whole keeping inheritances separate funds and not comingle them. Seems selfish. I would expect my wife to put any $ she receives into out joint taxable account and we move forward. I would do the same.
It really depends on the dynamics of the marriage.

When my grandfather died, my mom and Aunt were the beneficiaries. My mom put the money in a joint account with my dad. She said their marriage was one where money was both of theirs. So was the inheritance.

My Aunts marriage. Was very different. Uncle pulled quite a few fast ones on Aunt - not the least of which was to con Aunt into signing a mortgage for a farm but she was not on the deed. My dad would have never done that. The inheritance for aunt was in her name only. My cousin inherited the account from her mother.

Different relationships handle things differently.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by gretah » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:40 pm

Another recommendation for OP to read the book "Beyond the Grave."

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by jeffG » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:47 pm

Our will is set up so that all is split evenly between our kids (who are all married), but if one of our kids dies before us, their share goes to the grandkids, not the SIL or DIL.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:56 pm

gretah wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:40 pm
Another recommendation for OP to read the book "Beyond the Grave."
Actually I have read the book twice, the last time when the revised edition came out.

And, because I am getting ready to make a few minor changes, I am reading it for the third time.

However, my issue and line of questioning isn't on the "how to", it was just a very informal post asking if others had considered such an activity.

Apparently I am not alone in this line of thought.

Thanks to all!

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by Katietsu » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:13 pm

Something I did not see not mentioned that has been done in our family, is including the son in law if his wife predecessors you. For example, estate is split between daughter A and daughter B. But if daughter A predecessors Broken Man, daughter A’s half is divided 20% to Son in law A, 40% to child 1 of daughter A and 40% to child 2 of daughter A. Sorry for all the A, B , 1,2 stuff but I think it makes my point.

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Re: Sons-in-law or Daughters-in -law legacy gifts...

Post by fourwheelcycle » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:44 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:13 pm
Something I did not see not mentioned that has been done in our family, is including the son in law if his wife predecessors you. For example, estate is split between daughter A and daughter B. But if daughter A predecessors Broken Man, daughter A’s half is divided 20% to Son in law A, 40% to child 1 of daughter A and 40% to child 2 of daughter A. Sorry for all the A, B , 1,2 stuff but I think it makes my point.
I do follow your A, B, 1, 2 stuff! Our joint revocable trust (JRT) does not contain that type of provision for our children's spouses, but we have thought about it. Our JRT includes a provision for non-binding suggestions to our successor trustee as a way to communicate our considerations without formally amending the JRT. We have added a suggestion for our successor trustee to consider a provision similar to the one you described. This leaves the ultimate decision to the next generation, rather than us making it for them. If we ever evolve from a consideration on this issue to an intention we will formally amend our JRT.

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