Sometimes a holiday will trigger some wide-ranging emotions, and this can certainly apply to Thanksgiving. We get together with family members and friends and give thanks for all the good things in our lives.
With this in mind, this year you may want to say thank you to your loved ones by taking action to put an estate plan in place.
Inaction Can Lead to Disinheritances
Most American adults do not have estate plans, and according to recent survey results, the vast majority of unprepared people know that planning is important. They put it on the back burner for one reason or another, and in far too many cases, they never get around to it.
If you pass away without any estate planning documents, the state would step in to distribute your assets according to the intestate succession laws. The situation would be unnecessarily time-consuming and complicated, and the outcome may not be consistent with your true wishes.
When you take action to develop a plan, you are making sure that your loved ones are provided for appropriately, and this is a practical responsibility.
At the same time, you can look at it as an expression of gratitude for your own good fortune. And if you have ever received an inheritance yourself, the act can be even more meaningful.
A Personalized Inheritance Plan
Estate planning does not have to boil down to the simple act of creating a will to allow for lump sum inheritance distributions. There are multiple different approaches that can be taken, so you may want to take a step back and consider the larger picture.
You can use a living trust with a spendthrift provision to protect an heir that is not ready to handle a large inheritance all at once. An incentive trust can be utilized to guide a loved one toward actions that will allow them to achieve their full potential.
For example, you can instruct the trustee to pay tuition and fees and provide distributions for living expenses as long as the beneficiary stays in college. These trusts can be used in the reverse direction to guide people away from self-destructive behavior.
These are two of the different trusts that can be used, but there are others, and unique situations can call for specialized planning techniques. One of these scenarios would be estate planning for a person with special needs.
A significant percentage of people with disabilities rely on Medicaid as a source of health insurance, and they receive income through the Supplemental Security Income program. Since these are need-based benefits, a direct inheritance could cause a loss of eligibility.
Aside from the monetary transfers, there are other considerations, like heirlooms that you may have in your possession. You can inventory your items and determine which person on your inheritance list is the right future caretaker for each respective heirloom.
This is a little bit of food for thought, but you know your capabilities, and you know your family members better than anyone else. Simply put, there is a way to satisfy any objective if you work with our firm, so there is no reason to settle for any limitations.
Access Our Free Estate Planning Worksheet
In addition to the hundreds of blog posts you can explore to build on your knowledge, we have some other learning material on this site. Our estate planning worksheet is a very valuable tool that you can use to gain a more thorough understanding of this important process.
It is being offered free of charge, and you can visit our worksheet page to get your copy.
Need Help Now?
If you are ready to put a custom crafted estate plan in place, we are here to help. You can schedule a consultation appointment right now if you give us a call at 513-721-1513. There is also a contact form on this site you can use to send us a message.