Seniors: How to Be Sure Your Inheritance is Well Directed

Oct 15th, 2009 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Another review necessary in the shaky times we experience is evaluating our estate, its size, legal issues, and intentions as we increase in age. Those who have consulted appropriate legal and accountant advice will know what their options are.  Depending upon age, health, number of persons in the family, wishes for charitable contributions, the process can be quick and quite simple.  The more complicated the estate, of course, the more complex the need for advice.

Dispositions regarding real estate and investments require careful perusal.  Depending upon the distribution, these assets will likely amount to the largest part of an estate.  Trusts are often arranged for to equitably divide the resources among family, charitable institutions, even friends, but will need to be specific and trustee(s) arranged for.

If there is someone to be gifted who needs to have assistance in managing the largesse to come their way, that too needs to be specifically provided for and assigned. 

Many persons choose to defer their trust distribtuion over several years.  That can be done and is often  a wise consideration. Protecting assets both after one has died, as well as when alive, is never a bad idea.  Extending the life of your inheritance, protecting it from profligate waste, and enabling its usefulness will be a worthy tribute to your good stewardship.

Discusssing this matter with family with frequency helps to enable understanding of decisions being made, the affect those decisions will have on everyone involved, and a chance for all involved to ventilate their issues and concerns.

Many families are often radically and irreversibly split upon the occasion of the distribution of assets.  While this is never completely preventable, it is possible to prepare everyone to know where they will be in the outcome.

If the family and estate is large, it will likely be necessary to have an attorney, well acquainted with both family and the finances of the family, to help guide everyone through this potentially uncomfortable process.  No one should be so alienated that unnecessary division  and tension is created within the family.  However, families are often motivated by neurotic and sometimes even psychotic dynamics.  In those cases where ill or no enabling has been done to head off destructive forces, then it is likely they can be expected.  

Being certain that all documentation is shared within the circle of those with a need to know is also important and critical. 

Death awaits all of us.  All of the particulars that will need addressing with clear and complete thoroughness are among the most important matters to be resolved within a family.  Denial and delay will only contribute to greater problems, loss of some of the assetss to unnecessary legal expense and hard feelings.  Do it now!  And be glad you can rest easy when the time comes.

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