Estate Planning, Probate, Trusts, Wealth, Will Contests, Wills

How to Disinherit Your Loved Ones (Part 3)

The point of this newsletter is to educate as many people as I can about estate planning and probate in an easy-to-understand manner…

With a slight hint of sarcasm of course.

Sometimes the holidays remind you of the less-than-perfect sides of your family. If that’s the case, sometimes you want your estate plan to protect you from those family members.

So, contrary to the spirit of the holidays, I want to give some tips and pointers on how to exclude (and how to NOT exclude) family members from squandering your estate.

Today’s Tip: Select a Responsible Person to Be in Charge, Not a Loved One.
Fun fact: most inheritances are spent within 18 months after someone passes.

That’s right. Those assets you worked decades for? Gone in less than two years.

It’s really unfortunate, but it’s also human nature: more often than not, people see inheritances as “free money,” not an opportunity to enhance one’s life.

You have to understand that people act certain ways under certain family dynamics. When the head of the home is now gone, there is no more head of the home to keep people in line through social, financial, or physical influence.

Are you the head of the home? If so, how will your loved ones act when the head of the home is gone?

More often than not, beneficiaries act like they won the lottery. Like it’s raining pennies from heaven. Like the prodigal son in the Bible.

And this is (statistically) what is most likely going to happen to your family after you’re gone as well. I know you trust them now,  but everything changes when people pass away and there’s a big pile of unclaimed cash sitting there.

So, my advice to people is to strongly consider who you are going to put in charge of splitting up your estate after you are gone.

A strong person in charge is going to keep those excluded from getting anything, and ensure those who received from the estate use the assets the way you would have wanted the beneficiaries to use the assets.

I know that it’s sentimental to put the first born-son, or the child who took the best care of you, or the spouse with whom you’ve lived for thirty plus years to be in charge.

But I would argue that none of those people are automatically qualified to prevent your beneficiaries from squandering their inheritances.

Instead, my recommendation is to put someone who is honest, trustworthy, savvy with finances, and a good communicator in charge.

Those people are hard to find; and, more often than not, they are not going to be your spouse, or your first-born child, or your child who cared for you in tough years.

It might be your business partner, your accountant, your attorney, a corporation that specializes in estate planning distributions, or (of course) it could also be a family member.

But if you have the right person in charge, and that person listens to your well-worded will or trust document rather than the whims of the beneficiaries who want “free money,” you might be able to keep your life’s work from disappearing within 18 months after passing!