The assets you leave to your loved ones can either be a source of relief or, sometimes, a source of panic if they don’t know how to manage those assets. Unless properly prepared, your loved ones may not know how to deal with sudden wealth — even just fifty thousand dollars can either be squandered quickly or built into a true legacy of love. Your loved one’s may lack trusted advisors to help them, and they may not always share your values or your vision on how to put the money to good use or ensure it lasts for future generations.
Unfortunately, there are many stories of heirs who have spent their inheritances unwisely, or who have neglected to consult with knowledgeable attorneys or financial planners on the best ways to minimize taxes while maximizing the opportunity to grow that inheritance. I’m sure you can even think of a friend or family member who squandered what they were left quickly.
There are some things you can do to help prepare your loved ones for the inheritance they will receive some day. Consider these questions in evaluating their ability to handle an inheritance:
Are they capable of managing an inheritance alone or do they need help? If they need help, be sure your estate planning takes this into consideration.
Do they need some time to acclimate to their inheritance? If so, you can put their inheritance into a trust to stagger the distributions over time.
Are you leaving assets in the hands of trustees or executors they don’t know? Be sure your heirs know about your team of advisors and your wishes for retaining them to manage business, real estate or other important assets.
Are they aware of your wishes and values when it comes to managing their inheritance? If not, then consider taking advantage of our legacy planning process, where we help you pass on those valuable intangibles through a special recording that reveals who you are through your own history, insights, values and experience. It’s a gift your family will cherish forever, and we are honored to be able to provide it for our clients.
Contact a Personal Family Lawyer®to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk about a Family Wealth Planning Session, where we can identify the best ways for you to ensure your legacy of love and financial security for your family.