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

How to Disinherit Your Loved Ones (Part 4)

Merry Christmas! 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 protect your estate from your less-than-perfect family members.

Today’s Tip: Make Your Estate Plan as Complicated as Needed to Protect Your Stuff.
Being an attorney is great. I have the option to completely and totally confuse the daylights out of anyone with legal words and terms if I want.

It’s also not so great for the average day person who has to try to understand what I’m saying if I were to use all those words and terms on them.

Now that I think about it… this might be one of many reasons people don’t like working with attorneys like myself. Sorry!

But, with that understanding, my advice to you today is to not let your attorney pull those legal shenanigans on you. Especially if you have a complex family situation.

Let me explain. Your estate planning attorney should at least be able to answer, in a completely understandable manner, these basic questions:
1. Who is in charge of splitting your stuff up after you pass?
2. Who is receiving your stuff after you pass away?
3. What is the process of splitting your stuff up after you pass away?

An estate plan can be as simple or as complex as you want with each of those questions.

For example, you could have multiple people or just one person in charge of splitting your stuff up. You can give your assets to 100 people or just one person. You can limit when people receive your assets, how they receive your assets, and in what form the assets are delivered to the beneficiary.

The sky is the limit when it comes to dividing up your estate and how it happens. And it’s all determined by you. Not your smooth-talking attorney.

In other words, do not let your attorney tell you how to do your estate plan. Tell your attorney how to do your estate plan. That’s what you’re paying them for.

So what do I mean when I recommend that you should make things as complicated as needed to protect your stuff?

Well, if your family is complicated, split-up, and there are nothing but problems and drama every time you interact with them, you will probably need a more complex estate plan than normal.

Here are some examples of a more complex estate plan that can fit your family dynamics:

– You can create multiple trusts in one document, and each of those trusts can have different rules, procedures, and people in charge to make sure what you want to have happen actually happens.

– You can give assets with no conditions to one family member and withhold the assets from another until a certain pre-condition occurs (sobriety from drugs, pass college, etc.)

– You can limit how the assets are spent (for education, or for a business, etc.) and ensure that the person in charge doesn’t give any assets to someone unless they spend the assets in a particular manner.

– You can hold the assets for years until someone reaches a certain age before receiving the assets.

– And so much more!

You will more likely than not have to use a trust to accomplish these additional requirements, but it is possible to customize, down to the last detail, exactly what happens to each part of your estate.

A good attorney will let you know the pros and cons of such complications, but, at the end of the day, it is the attorney’s job to ensure that your desires occur for the distribution of your assets if you accept the pros and cons of a complicated estate plan.

Moral of the story? Do not let your attorney talk you out of a condition that is valuable to you if you really do want it! Make your estate plan as complicated as needed to ensure what you want actually happens after you pass.