Compliments of The Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law
Written By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys
Estate Planning is important for passing assets to the next generation. However, is that enough? For many, Legacy Wealth Planning is an important element of their overall Estate Planning efforts. If Estate Planning is the beginning, then Legacy Wealth Planning takes it to the next level: your holistic efforts of protecting and planning for future generations. Legacy Wealth Planning is more than just your material possessions you’ve worked hard to acquire, it’s about the values that drive you every day. It’s about the protections, guidance, and even the blind leap of faith often taken on the way to a happy and successful life. There are two levels of protection in a family Wealth Trust.
The Family Access Trust
Fortunately, there is a way to combine the holistic approach of Legacy Wealth Planning and traditional Estate Planning. The Family Wealth Trust allows not only those material possessions to pass to children and grandchildren, but it also serves as a protective mechanism against those with less than noble intentions who may come into the picture later. Instead of divvying up the cash, this first level of protection, the Family Access Trust, will put important safeguards into place against any future divorce proceedings. It allows the beneficiary to access assets as he or she chooses; however, it provides an additional protection when it comes to their inheritance.
Consider this scenario, both of which a Family Access Trust could help to prevent:
Your sweet grandson has always been trusting and because of his trusting nature, he chose the wrong woman to marry. He realizes it soon enough, but not before they took the walk down the aisle. Now she’s expecting one-half of his inheritance.
The Family Sentry Trust
The second level of protection, the Family Sentry Trust, goes even further. It addresses potential creditors seeking to recoup their losses from your children or other beneficiaries.
Here is a scenario in which you and your family would benefit greatly from a Family Sentry Trust:
Your granddaughter is turning sixteen and wants to have a pool party. One of the party attendants ignores the countless reminders to not run around the pool and an hour into the party, he slips and breaks his ankle. His family sues the owner of the pool – your son.
These are just a couple ways Legacy Wealth Planning can protect your family. The reality is, none of us can predict the future and a “sure thing” is rarely as sure as we thought. When we can put those protections in place, it’s just one more way of leveling that playing field called life. Be sure to choose a qualified Estate Planning attorney who can help ensure your Legacy Wealth Plan is everything you need it to be.
Our firm is a member and designated Fellow of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, for more information or to attend an upcoming seminar, please give our office a call at (408) 356-9200 or (831) 476-2400.