As superficial as it may seem at first glance, the number one way for you to support your loved ones after you’re gone is through generational wealth. By understanding how to best jump through the relevant legal hoops, you can carefully provide them with the financial and emotional support they’ll need in your absence. Here are the steps you need to undergo to create such a plan.
Create a Will
This goes far beyond simply writing down who gets what, and when – you should hire a lawyer to help you draw it up and notarize it correctly, so that it’s legally binding. Otherwise, anything that you write down that you want relatives or friends to receive may or may not actually be given to them. This is especially a problem when you have large amounts of money or property to bequeath. Unfortunately, families have been known to tear themselves apart over valuable assets. Creating a proper, legal will is the primary way to avoid such things happening.
Put Your Assets in a Trust
Another legal safeguard against possible issues with your estate is to put your assets in a trust. Since a trust is a third party specifically hired to hold assets for a certain time, you can have confidence in the fact that they will remain impartial and will abide by your wishes. You do not need a lawyer to create a trust, but it can be helpful if you are not confident that you will do it right alone (although of course this will come at a fee). Make sure that you have all of the proper documents in order for every asset that you wish to bequeath, and make sure the preparations for asset maintenance are met – a property in probate is subject to legal requirements to maintain.
With all of the legal factors that are required in the process of creating an estate plan, you should also be careful to prepare your family and friends for what is going to happen. The effort and money that is normally needed to secure your estate is for the purpose of avoiding confusion and manipulation; all of that could be avoided simply by setting expectations with those who are close to you. Families can be complicated, of course, and every situation is different. But generally, you are going to want to communicate with them what their expectations should be for their inheritances so as to avoid problems. If that just isn’t possible for you, make sure the legality of your preparations is watertight.
Ultimately, it’s almost always the best option to play it safe and trust the experts when it comes to planning your estate. The preservation of your assets, given to those individuals who you deem deserving, is worth the money, time, and effort that makes that process clean.
Check out this article on how to deal with an inheritance from a relative!