Having an estate plan can save loved ones a lot of stress when a person passes. The individual that makes one can possibly ensure the continuation of their assets and legacy.
It can also prevent conflicts since anyone with issues can only take it up with the benefactor.
Creating the plan is the first part of the process.
Finance experts and estate lawyers can help with the structures required to protect the assets and address taxes.
However, these professionals can't help with the preceding procedures such as the meeting with beneficiaries to share details of the plans.
Helpful Strategies for Wealth Transfer
Sponsors can use any of the three strategies available to set up an asset transfer.
The benefactor names an individual as the beneficiary of their accounts. It can either be for retirement or otherwise.
This process simplifies the transfer of assets to loved ones upon a person’s demise.
A will describes how one wants to share their assets among recipients after passing. An executor is appointed in this scenario to carry out the wishes in the document.
The process goes through the judicial system to help settle disputes about the contents of the benefactor's will. Sometimes its authenticity or the authority of the distributor gets challenged.
Such issues follow a probate proceeding for a ruling to determine how the assets are shared.
Trust funds are used in situations where a person requires their beneficiaries to meet certain conditions before being eligible for a share of their assets.
In some cases, a child may need to reach a certain age before being permitted access to their inheritance. Others allow the release of assets only to pay for college fees.
A trust document defines all these complexities and names the person authorized to execute the provisions outlined.
Preparing Heirs for Transfer of Wealth
Benefactors are to communicate with their heirs to facilitate the smooth transfer of assets.
Let Them Know the Details
It may be difficult for a person to discuss their financial status to another, even when they are family.
The sponsor does not have to give a total breakdown of dealings to benefactors, just details of available assets and who they wish to handle their management.
This helps prevent misunderstanding with trustees or executors during the implementation of wishes. Heirs will also be able to spot fraudulent additions from anyone.
Allowing recipients to participate in the planning of estates can help to simplify the conversation about wealth transfer.
People use this opportunity to pass on their values and vision to heirs during this time. It can help the beneficiaries carry on their legacies when they are gone.
Files Should Be in Order
When dealing with wealth transfers, the beneficiaries should try to keep the financial and legal documents safe with specialized access. All interested parties can know the location of these files.
One place to keep them could be in a bank safe deposit box with instructions that permit access only under certain conditions.
It could be that more than half of the interested parties have to give their consent. All other beneficiaries can also receive a notification anytime the files are accessed. This blocks any attempt by a party to change it in secret.
The documents often include estate ownership papers, loans, mortgage paperwork, share certificates, account statements, life insurance policies, and any relevant financial or legal detail beneficiaries will require.
Introduce Heirs to Financial Team
As the beneficiary, introducing the heirs to the financial team can connect them to resource personnel that they can contact if the transfer process becomes complex.
This can also help prepare them for future roles associated with the inheritance.
Benefactors can control how much of an asset will be available to beneficiaries within specific periods. It may even extend to their decision-making powers within a business they inherit.
All these preparation tips depend on communication. If individuals can be upfront with their heirs about the inheritance to expect, it can eliminate many conflicts that arise during the process.
Common Mistakes in Wealth Transfer
Transferring wealth to others is a whole process that requires constant review. This may help sponsors avoid some mistakes common to this procedure.
The relationship between individuals keeps changing. A person can gain more loved ones, break ties with some, or lose some. Accidents may change the physical and mental abilities of some.
These events call for an update of beneficiaries regularly to ensure that the bond between sponsors and recipients is well known.
Hiding Information from Heirs
Hiding information from the heirs can create many holes for concerned parties to have disputes alongside the threat of fraudulent execution of wishes.
Individuals do not need to discuss everything with their heirs, but conversations about their expectations could be beneficial.
Failing to Transfer Assets to Trust Funds
Failing to transfer assets to trust funds could prove to be a mistake since the agreement doesn't guarantee that they contain the assets.
Benefactors can modify the account registrations as soon as possible to prevent this mistake.
Simplifying the Process
Facilitating all these strategies can be made simpler with the help of a professional. Contact financial advisors before taking any action if you are unsure of what you are doing.
The Kelley Financial Group is committed to providing consultancy services to people who want to transfer their wealth without the common issues. Get in touch today for the necessary guidance.
This material was prepared for The Kelley Financial Group’s use.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies or investments may be suitable for you, consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a decision.
The Kelley Financial Group and LPL Financial do not offer tax or legal advice or services. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.