Why Consider Your Heirs When Making an Estate Plan?
A Montgomery estate planning attorney can help you to make an appropriate estate plan that takes the needs of your heirs or beneficiaries into account. It seems obvious to say that you need to consider the needs of your heirs when you make a plan… but what does this really mean to you?
You need to go beyond just thinking about which of your loved ones you want to distribute your hard-earned wealth to when you pass away. You also need to consider the most appropriate and strategic ways to make a transfer of assets so any special circumstances that may affect your loved ones are addressed by your plan.
Zimmer Law Firm is here to help. When our legal team works with you to make an estate plan, we can help you to determine what steps you need to take to protect the people you love and to make sure that the gifts you give to them enhance their quality of life. We can also help you to address any pitfalls or problems that could affect how an inheritance is received. Give us a call today to find out more about the assistance that we can offer and to get help making your personalized plans.
Considering the Needs of Heirs or Beneficiaries During Estate Planning
When you make an estate plan, you need to consider whether you could end up losing a part of the wealth you intend to provide to your loved ones because of estate tax. If this is the case, you should explore ways to reduce or avoid these taxes so your loved ones don’t receive less than expected. In some especially upsetting situations, a family business or farm will have to be sold to pay estate tax, which effectively destroys the legacy you want to leave. You want to be proactive in making sure taxes won’t impact an inheritance.
You also need to think about whether your heirs or beneficiaries who you are leaving assets to will potentially need to access those assets very quickly. This could happen if you have investments or a family business that must be carefully managed. A period of uncertainty or management by an executor who may not necessarily know exactly what the best management approach is could result in assets declining in value.
You should make adjustments to your estate plan, including using trusts, to facilitate the timely transfer of assets. This is also important if you have heirs or beneficiaries who depend upon you for income. If you are a breadwinner that provides for a loved one and you pass away, you may intend for the inheritance you left behind to provide necessary financial security. A lengthy delay in your loved one receiving the inheritance could be a big problem under these circumstances.
You may also need to take into account the age and disability status of your loved ones who you are leaving money to. If you have a child, grandchild or other loved one under 18, you need to address the issue of who will manage their inheritance until they can do it on their own. You also need to think about whether you want to simply allow the young person to receive the full inheritance and take total control at age 18 or whether you want to impose some restrictions, limitations or conditions on the inheritance by using tools like trusts.
If your loved one you’re leaving wealth to is disabled, there is another issue as well- in addition to the fact that the disabled person may not necessarily be able to manage assets. Providing wealth to someone who is disabled could affect means-tested benefits like Medicaid that many disabled people rely upon. You may need to work with an experienced attorney to structure an inheritance so vital benefits are not lost.
Getting Help from a Montgomery Estate Planning Attorney
Zimmer Law Firm can provide you with advice on any special circumstances that may exist for your heirs or beneficiaries due to your relationship with your heirs or due to their specific needs. We can also help you to use effective legal tools to provide the protection that your loved ones deserve, no matter who they are or what assets you have decided to leave to them.
To find out more about how we can help you with all aspects of estate planning and taking the needs of your heirs or beneficiaries into account, join us for a free seminar. If you’re ready for personalized help with your plan from a Montgomery estate planning attorney, give us a call at 513.721.1513 today to get your plan started.