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Ask Dave

Daddy's Money

Stacy gets some advice on how to resolve a family dispute about where his dad's money will go after he dies.

QUESTION: Stacy’s dad and stepmom are disagreeing about dad’s money. When he dies, he wants 75% of the money should be divided between Stacy and his siblings, and the rest will be divided among the stepkids. The stepwife thinks, however, that the money should be divided among her kids. How does Dave say this should be handled?

ANSWER: I don’t agree with what the stepmom is saying. Your dad’s wishes make sense, since his money should go to his kids upon his death. The money belongs to both of them, but he can put some legal things in place to make sure that she is taken care of while leaving the rest to you. He can build a trust very easily with an attorney.

It’s very important for them to solve this communication aspect of their relationship. Get an estate planner to coach them through this, and they have to come to an agreement over how to divide this.