The Etiquette of Inheritance

There are rules of etiquette for almost every life event, large or small. A recent article discusses the rules of etiquette when it comes to inheritance.

Rules of etiquette apply whether you are passing down your estate, or receiving a portion of an estate from a loved one. Unfortunately, these rules are far from clear. People commonly wonder how to fairly divide family heirlooms, or ask a family member to inherit a specific object or item.

As Peggy Post, director of the Emily Post Institute explains, “It’s about being respectful . . . the underpinnings of etiquette are respect, consideration and honesty, and those benchmarks all apply.” Post, who has written over a dozen books on the topic of etiquette, has several tips for those looking to approach inheritance appropriately.

Importantly, Post urges readers to realize that issues such as handling money, driving, senior independence, and inheritance are delicate issues. Although end-of-life conversations are difficult, failed communication is the largest contributing factor to fights over estate plans. Consider beginning the conversations with one-on-one conversations between parents and siblings, then expand out to a conversation with the entire family. If your family does not live in a centralized location, consider video chatting online.

For assistance concerning giving or receiving an inheritance, or for any other estate planning needs, contact us at (626) 696-3145.

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