Inheritance planning is very important if you have a legacy you wish to leave behind for those you love. Individuals who inherit will also need to create a careful plan to make the most of the money that was left to them and to ensure that the assets they receive as a gift are protected.
Unsworth Law has extensive experience in the field of inheritance planning. We help you to make sure that the legacy you are leaving behind is a benefit not a burden and to ensure that your heirs are enriched by the gift you give them. We also provide advice to those who have inherited money or property and who want to learn how to effectively protect and manage it so they can maintain long-term financial security.
The Recipient Matters in Inheritance Planning
When you develop an inheritance plan, you need to think about how the money and property that you are leaving behind is going to affect the people who you are leaving these assets to. In many cases, inheritances have been squandered or have actually made people’s lives worse. Family businesses have also fallen apart and family wealth has been destroyed because of a lack of planning in how recipients will handle an inheritance.
You want to avoid these unpleasant outcomes and ensure that a gift you receive is used to benefit the life of the recipient and make it better. In order to ensure you are leaving your money and property to your heirs while still protecting the assets, here are a few key considerations:
- Are you leaving money to someone receiving government benefits? Many people with disabilities or other special needs are dependent upon Medicaid to pay for their care. Those who are disabled may also be receiving supplemental security income (SSI) or other means-tested benefits. If you give someone a large gift of money or property, this could make them ineligible for means tested benefits. You don’t want to end up costing them money or the coverage they depend upon. Instead, you should create a special needs trust in order to protect their financial interests. The trust will own the assets you leave behind, and the money and property can be managed for the benefit of the disabled heir.
- Are you leaving money to a minor child? If you are leaving money to someone who is underage, you will need to think carefully about who will manage that money and how you can ensure it is managed for the benefit of the child. Creating a trust can be a smart way to ensure the money is there for the child.
- Will your heirs be able to manage the money and property? Managing large sums of money can be very difficult. If your heirs are not comfortable with developing effective investment strategies, you may wish to put the money into a trust for them and name a trustee who can invest it wisely so it can continue to grow and provide for your loved ones.
- Is there a risk your heirs could lose the money? Divorce and debt are some of the most common reasons why family wealth is lost. You may also have a spendthrift heir who tends to quickly squander money and property. You don’t want your estate to go to an ex or to creditors, or to be spent all at once and leave your loved one with nothing. You can structure a trust so that your heirs get only certain amounts of money at a time, or get money only after achieving certain milestones, so you can ensure that the money lasts a long time and is not wasted.
- Will the gift you are giving trigger estate taxes? If your estate is large enough that estate taxes will be triggered, you want to take steps to avoid having to give a large amount of cash to the government.
By considering who is receiving an inheritance, you can develop an effective plan to protect your assets and your loved ones over the long-term.
Contact an Inheritance Planning Lawyer in Essex Junction Today for Help
Unsworth Law understands that you want to ensure an inheritance you are leaving behind is protected and provides your loved ones with long-term financial stability. We can help you to develop a comprehensive estate plan that is appropriate in light of the gift that you are giving and the people who you are giving it to. To learn more, join us for a free seminar.
You can also give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online to schedule an appointment and get advice personalized to you so you can create a comprehensive inheritance plan.