How inherited wealth is often squandered (and what you can do about it)

Estate plans are drafted with the idea of passing wealth to the next generation with a minimum of trouble and expense. It is your list of instructions from “beyond the grave“ with regard to the disposition of your assets and the conditions under which they will or (in some cases) will not be disbursed.

What is all too often not considered is whether or not your beneficiaries are fully prepared. Your ultimate goal should be to protect your beneficiaries not only from any unnecessary transfer expenses but from themselves and sometimes each other.

If you have already have an estate plan take a moment and think about how much your heirs may or may not understand about money. Consider their level of financial literacy and whether not it would be in their best interest to become more familiar with the finer points of money and wealth management. In some cases, it might be a good idea to require them (via Trust language) to demonstrate their capabilities before receiving their inheritance.

Finally, talk with them about your plan, it’s design and most importantly what you want when it comes to your legacy.  This will allow you to address the family dynamic and any interpersonal issues before the fact.

The statistics with regard to family wealth evaporating in the second and third generations are indeed alarming. As such, a well-drafted estate plan should take into consideration all the potential barriers that might prevent a plan from being successful.

Attached is an article that explores this subject at greater depth. As always we value your trust as we look to serve you in more and more ways.



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