You certainly understand the value of the money that you’re passing down to your heirs. You spent your life creating that wealth. You want it to last for generations. This is a gift that you are passing down, and it’s important to you that it stays in the family and that it is used in a way that benefits everyone. You just want what is best for the people you love.
Unfortunately, you are a bit wary that all of your heirs may not use the money in a way that you would approve of. For example, maybe some of your heirs are still relatively young. They can inherit money at 18 years old, but what types of decisions are they going to make? What are your options to ensure that they don’t squander your wealth?
Consider placing assets in a trust
One of the best things that you can do is to put the money in a trust. You can even use the trust to stipulate that the money needs to be used in a certain way. You may be worried that your heir is going to make frivolous purchases, for example, so you can set the trust up so that it will only be used for college education costs or a business startup.
Another way to use a trust to control the assets within it – to a degree – is by giving your trustee the discretion to make decisions on how the money is spent. You can talk to this person in advance and you can appoint someone who shares your same values. If you are not around to approve purchases and manage your heir’s spending, then you’ll know that the trustee will do so on your behalf.
Finally, some trusts are simply set up with age in mind. If you are specifically concerned that your heir will waste the money because they are too young, you can create a trust that doesn’t release those funds to them until they reach a certain age. A provision could delay them from inheriting your money until they are 35 years old, for example.
Getting the process started
No matter what you decide to do, it’s important to carefully consider all the options that you have as you get the process started with the assistance of an experienced legal professional. The more you know about estate planning, the better you’ll be able to make your plan work for you.