Preparing heirs for real estate inheritance

Baby boomers may have trouble handling assets

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How can Christmas be right around the corner? Didn't we just put away the pumpkin carving tools? Wasn't it two weeks ago that we made room in the garage for the deck chairs? While we prepare for the traditional season of giving, the lack of preparation by baby boomer heirs for "the great transition of wealth" from their parents and grandparents rarely is discussed--at any time of the year. Whether it's a small business, a few stocks and bonds, the family cabin or equity in commercial real estate, children often don't know the best way to handle assets that could be coming from mom and dad. The Williams Group, a financial planning firm based in Stockton, Calif., researched 3,250 families that transitioned their wealth to their heirs. The firm's data showed that only 30 percent of families transition their wealth successfully, mainly because they failed to properly prepare their heirs. The transition of wealth hasn't really been a problem for previous generations, but the happy-to-borro...