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Planning to Distribute Assets Includes Family Dynamics


Planning to Distribute Assets Includes Family Dynamics

Circumstances change, decisions are made and the best made plans don’t always work out the way you thought they might. When it comes to distributing your assets, communicating your intentions and discussing them well in advance may be the best gift you can give your loved ones.

The Washington Post’s article, “Think now about what you will leave behind,” notes that a study by Accenture estimates that more than $12 trillion in assets are being shifted from those born in the 1920s and 1930s to baby boomers. Then in the next several decades, about $30 trillion of wealth will be transferred by baby boomers to their heirs.

“At the peak, between 2031 and 2045, 10 percent of total wealth in the United States will be changing hands every five years,” the Accenture report said.

How that money is distributed will matter. Consider long-term care insurance, a significant expense. Some adult children don’t want to spend the money their parents saved because they might be criticized by other heirs about reducing their inheritance. In many cases it’s the adult daughter who holds a full-time job and would take care of her mother before work and after. But soon she needs some help. And even though mom has money to pay for long-term care, the daughter’s hesitant to spend it because her out-of-state siblings give her grief about the cost.

Frequently family members who are the caretakers are given little or no consideration for the time they spend providing care. The estate’s split up evenly, which can be a source of resentment. Try to avoid estate battles. An elder law attorney can draw up a family agreement in advance regarding who will be responsible for care and what they’ll be paid. They will be paid for their time and effort during their service, or if that’s not an option, they’ll receive compensation in the estate plan.

Inheritances don’t occur in a vacuum. If an adult child or children are completely left out of your will, your decision will hurt their feelings and lead to stress and conflict within the family. Yes, it’s your money, but it’s also your family. Do you want your legacy to be litigation and estrangement? Consider discussing these issues with an experienced estate planning attorney, who has seen and heard more than a few families with challenges. Their guidance and good communication with family members may go a long way in preventing an estate battle.

Do you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach counties in Florida? Laws are constantly changing-- has your estate plan been reviewed in the last 2-3 years? Call me (954-888-1747) right away for peace of mind. I can help!

  • My practice is exclusively estate planning and probate
  • have prepared numerous estate plans in 16 years of practice,
  • have administered estates and trusts through Probate all over Florida, and
  • am a Certified Financial Planner Professional™

Reference: The Washington Post (October 8, 2016) “Think now about what you will leave behind”

Why would we recommend D.T.F.? Several Reasons: Your ability to explain complex estate problems, clearly and patiently; your total lack of arrogance and pretense; a strong feeling that you are motivated by what you perceive is best for your client, rather than what would generate the largest legal fees; finally, and importantly, you are a lovely guy. A.C.

Two words cannot sum up the entire process of creating my “trust.” I enjoyed your attention to detail, your patience of explaining terms and conditions until I understood, also giving me copies to read and understand. Thank you for your suggestions on what was best for “me” but still allowing me to make my choice. Most of all, thank you for thinking of “me.” Wells Fargo said “you were the best” I cannot deny that. Again thank you very much for everything. Anna is an asset or a compliment to the firm. She is warm and very caring. It was great doing business. Thank you.