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I would also note that it is not really an "earlier inheritance" if the will is not adjusted to recognize the early gifting.

This isn't just theoretical. It happens.

I had a distant relative who passed away. No children - never married. My understanding was that she wanted to leave some portion to a charity and the remainder to some of her slightly distant relatives (grand niece/nephew, I think) who had helped her continue to live at home for her final 10 years or so.

Before she died, she decided to give a significant gift to the charity. Then she made some kind of notes on a copy of her will that their inheritance had been taken care of. After she died, the charity was having none of that and contested the will. They eventually won, and got the specified portion of her remaining estate.

Rumor has it that the extended family (which includes my aunts and uncles) never gave to that charity again.

The lesson to be learned is that it's fine to give some kind of "early inheritance", but you need to make sure your estate documents properly reflect your intentions. Just like JAFO said.

--Peter
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