A legal matter can sometimes seem like an exercise in paper shuffling, and this mentality is often applied to the subject of inheritance planning. However, the estate planning process can be complex so let our Ashland estate planning lawyers help you get started now.
Estate planning is unique so it takes time
Each family is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all estate plan that will be perfect for everyone. There are those who assume that you can simply draw up a quick last will, toward the end of your life, but this is a very shortsighted approach. There are other options, and a will is not always the best choice.
Procrastination may be common but should be avoided
Responsible adults take all kinds of steps to make sure that they are protecting their families, in various ways. At the same time many, if not most, of the same people are unprepared from an estate planning perspective. However, our Ashland estate planning lawyers will tell you it is in your family’s best interest to be prepared.
Estate planning is something that is important for all adults, even younger adults, but a very significant percentage of people are unprepared are in their twenties, thirties or forties. This is unfortunate because they are putting their families at risk. The numbers are not very encouraging when it comes to older adults either. A study found that 51 percent of people who are between 55 and 64 years of age are without wills.
Let our Ashland estate planning lawyers create a customized estate plan
The key to a properly constructed estate plan is personalized attention. If you discuss your unique family situation, financial status, and estate planning objectives with an attorney, the attorney can help you act in a fully informed manner. Ultimately, you can preserve your resources, and arrange for assets to get into the hands of each of your loved ones, in an ideal manner.
Different types of circumstances can call for specialized knowledge that only an experienced estate planning attorney can provide. For example, high net worth individuals can be exposed to estate taxes. There are wealth preservation strategies that can be utilized when an estate is going to be subject to taxation.
Consider including spendthrift provisions
Spendthrift protections can also be quite beneficial. If you leave a loved one, who is not a good money manager, a lump sum inheritance, the money could be spent far too quickly. This is true of someone who could be described as a spendthrift, but there are also financially responsible people who are simply not prepared to handle large sums of money. A spendthrift provision would provide a higher level of asset protection for your beneficiaries.
The use of revocable living trusts
To protect inheritors, you could establish a revocable living trust. While you are alive, you would have control of the assets in the trust, and you would have the power of revocation. If you ever wanted to do so, you could revoke or dissolve the trust entirely.
Since you would have this level of control, assets in the trust would not be protected from your creditors, or from other legal judgments, while you are alive. However, the trust would become irrevocable after you pass away providing an added level of protection, for your beneficiaries, from creditors and predators.
Don’t forget to choose a successor trustee
When setting up a revocable living trust, a successor trustee that you name, in the trust declaration, would distribute assets to the beneficiaries, that you name, in the document. You could instruct the trustee to distribute limited assets on an incremental basis over an extended period of time.
We can help with blended family issues
Inheritance planning for blended families is another personal matter, that you can address, when discussing your objectives with your estate planning attorney. These are a handful of the different types of scenarios that can exist when preparing your estate plan, but there are strategies that can be implemented to address any type of situation.
If you are among the unprepared, you may want to take action sooner rather than later. We have spoken with clients over the years who suffered the consequences of inheritance planning inaction. This is always disturbing because we immediately recognize how easy it would have been to prevent negative circumstances.
Join us for a FREE seminar today! If you have questions regarding any estate planning matters, please contact the experienced attorneys at The Potter Law Firm for a consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us at (704) 944-3245. We are here to help!
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