Cummings & Lockwood

"How To Give It Away"

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February/March 2018 Issue

AARP's The Magazine

Laura Weintraub Beck, a trusts and estates attorney in Cummings & Lockwood’s Greenwich, Connecticut office, was quoted in an article entitled “How to Give It Away” in The Magazine published by AARP in the February/March 2018 issue.  In a discussion on how to address the issue of dividing your estate unequally between children, Beck states “ Some clients talk to their kids about it, and some don’t want to debate with their kids.”  No matter how and why you make a division of assets, you can’t prevent dissatisfaction among your children.  You can, however, try to minimize the damage after you’re gone.  If you don’t want to explain unequal bequests while you’re alive, Beck suggests you consider leaving behind a letter explaining your motivations.  Otherwise, it’s more likely you’ll be seen as either being unfair or having loved one child more than another.  To reduce the chances of an ugly battle over the will’s terms and validity, she additionally suggests inserting a no-contest clause in the will -- one that says, essentially, “If you challenge this, you’ll get nothing.”

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