FAMILY LEGACY PLANNING: GOING BEYOND THE WILL
The cycle of wealth creation—and wealth depletion—is all too typical in America. One person or family creates the wealth, and within two generations, the heirs and descendants will have depleted everything that was accumulated: from parents to children to grandchildren, and then suddenly gone.
It doesn’t have to be this way, of course. With careful estate and financial planning, wealth can continue to build and provide for your family and their descendants well into the future. This is what can be called family legacy planning.
The attorneys at the Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC, stand ready to assist you in creating a family legacy plan that will disprove the idea that heirs and descendants can’t manage the assets you leave them.
If you’re in or around Redlands, California, or nearby in Riverside, Palm Springs, or Rancho Cucamonga, reach out to the firm today. Get started on forging a family legacy plan that will survive far into the future.
WHAT COMPRISES A FAMILY LEGACY PLAN?
A will by itself can accomplish the goal of leaving your family and loved ones the assets you’ve accumulated so their immediate futures will be secure, but it doesn’t guarantee that those beneficiaries will know how to handle these assets.
A study has shown that 60 percent of the reason for the failure of wealth transition is lack of communication within the family. Another 25 percent is due to the inexperience and lack of preparation of the beneficiaries. The final 15 percent springs from not developing a family mission statement about how to handle the acquired assets.
Even if the parents put in place all the necessary legal documents, including trusts, powers of attorney, and more, if the children don’t share a vision of what to do to preserve and perpetuate the assets, there may be very little left for the grandchildren.
TRUSTS: GOING BEYOND WILLS
A will may be the starting point for creating a family legacy plan, but if you stop there, you’ll be leaving so many elements to chance—including how your loved ones spend their shares.
Trusts, however, can be so structured that the trustee can control the distribution of assets as the beneficiaries need them. The trustee can thus ignore a request for unneeded purchases or spendthrift activities.
The trustee can also be directed to manage the investments and portfolios assigned to the trust, with specific goals in mind. In this way, the wealth can continue to grow and accumulate even as beneficiaries receive what is specified for them in the trust document itself.
CONSIDERATIONS IN EFFECTIVE FAMILY LEGACY PLANNING
A good family legacy plan will therefore take into consideration: 1) the protection of your beneficiaries’ inheritance, and 2) the promotion of the inheritance toward shared goals.
This means not only empowering the trustee to protect assets while serving the needs of the beneficiaries but also communicating to your loved ones the goals of the family. That is, creating a family legacy plan that they buy into, not only through legal instruments but also through educating and nurturing your loved ones through a shared vision.
Remember, 60 percent of the failure of transferring wealth stems from a lack of family communication. You must not only plan for the future but also get others to embrace the plan.
WORK WITH EXPERIENCED ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEYS
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to effective family legacy planning. At the Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC, skilled lawyers have helped countless individuals and families create the legal instruments they need to care for their loved ones far into the future. Set up a consultation today to get started.