Five Ways to Protect Your Inheritance
by Harvey Weinstein, MBA

 

People think there is a mystique about planning for their money.  Everyone thinks that you need to have a huge amount of money before they would ever consider planning to conserve their assets, or arrange for the proper management and distribution of their wealth.

The biggest mistake is that seniors do not do anything at all. The worst situation is to take no action and then have a fall or an unexpected medical emergency happen. Significant dollars would be lost.

It is common for people to make significant financial mistakes with their plans for protecting their money

Here are the five best ways to assure yourself that your inheritance plans work, and you avoid family arguments.

  1. Wrong People Receiving Your Money Due to Improper Beneficiary Designations

Improperly completed beneficiary designations happen frequently. The problem is not changing the beneficiary due to divorce or death. In addition, listing a child or grandchild with special needs directly as a beneficiary, thereby affecting their eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. In effect, the wrong people will inherit your money.

  1. Wrong Beneficiaries- Not Changing Asset Titles When Creating a Trust

Many seniors create a revocable trust (Living Trust) as part of estate planning documents. People then forget to update all the accounts titling to the name of the trust.

Not changing titles creates significant problems. Your family will have to pay additional probate costs. You also lose the convenience of a trust ownership, and lose the private nature of settling the estate. The wrong beneficiary may receive your money.

  1. Avoiding Expensive Court Battles- Naming Minor Children as Account Beneficiaries

Seniors will often name minor children outright as primary or contingent beneficiaries of life insurance or retirement plans.

When minor children inherits money, a court must appoint a guardian.  Any family member appointed must be bonded and insured, and must file a laborious annual accounting with the local court.

The court can also appoint a stranger- a court appointed attorney -to manage the affairs of the minor. The inherited money will be used to pay the attorney fees.

  1. Making a Correct Choice of an Executive or Trustee

Clients often name a relative as an executor who is not able to manage the financial affairs properly.

As a result, people will name a financial institution as a successor executive or trustee, as a backup to a surviving spouse. Sometimes, they will name the institution instead of a surviving spouse.

An appointment of an institution can be a big detriment to the spouse and other beneficiaries.  Large institutions must follow their fiduciary responsibilities and has a less personable approach than a family or induvial executor has or trustee could provide.

 

 

  1. Your Obligation to Protect Your Assets

Most seniors fear losing their assets to a nursing home. Yet they ignore legal and financial strategies that will help them. Seniors should explore trusts, gifting and financial techniques that make assets available for your use, while also protecting money that is beyond the reach of creditors, or nursing homes.

 

Guaranteeing Your Inheritance Plans Will Work

I have met many people who share a common fallacy. They mistakenly think that since they created documents or strategies 10-15 years ago, they think, “I’ve done the necessary planning and so I don’t need to look at it again.”

Seniors and their families fail to realize or appreciate that over the years, their family situations has changed, and tax laws have changed dramatically. Updating your decisions is critical to protect your assets.

Contact us when you want to make sure you have the most updated and helpful financial and tax strategies to protect your wealth.


You are invited to contact us to complete your FREE personalized Special Report. Call 860-778-8168.
www.taxadvisorsnetwork.com