Is a Living Inheritance Right for You and Your Family?

  • Wills
is a living inheritance right for you and your family | estate and probate legal group

Being able to help loved ones financially is something we all want to do. As a parent, you want to help your children or grandchildren. If your kids or grandkids need some money, should you give them a large lump sum? One option that more people are turning to is a living inheritance.

What is a Living Inheritance

A living inheritance is giving money to your children or grandchildren now instead of waiting until you pass away.

Many situations call for you to help your loved ones with money. Maybe your child needs help with a downpayment on a new home, reliable transportation or could use help with college funds. You want to see your children succeed in life… but is a living inheritance the right option for you and your family?

Some questions to ask are:

  • If you give a monetary gift to one child, do the other kids expect or want the same?
  • Can your child financially handle the money?
  • Will you have enough to live on after you give them money?

We recommend you sit down with your children or grandchildren and discuss your finances. It may be uncomfortable at first, but understanding everyone’s wishes and situations will help avoid problems in the future.

Pros and Cons of Gifting Money Now

This is something that you want to consider carefully. There are some benefits and disadvantages to a living inheritance.


  • The emotional joy of being able to help your loved one
  • Helping your child or loved one learn how to handle finances
  • Experiencing the joy with your child
  • Connection with them, perhaps they can move closer with your help


  • Having strings attached – what if their spouse spends the money you gave to your child
  • If you assume your gift can buy love, happiness or financial stability
  • If your child turns to illegal activities with the money
  • They are disappointed when there is nothing left in your will for them

We sometimes advise gifting small amounts of money through the years rather than one large lump sum. This can help your child without overwhelming them.

Before you do anything, speak with your estate planning attorney to understand exactly how much you can give and still make sure you will live comfortably for the rest of your life.

Oak Brook Estate Planning Attorney

Please talk with us to ensure a living inheritance is the best option for you and your family. An experienced estate and probate lawyer can guide you through the process so nothing is overlooked, and you can understand the tax laws concerning your gift. To talk to an experienced estate planning attorney, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835. 

Areas we serve: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.