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Have a Cohesive Estate Plan in Place for You and Your Family

| November 04, 2016
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Estate Planning

This Article has also been published on Investopedia.com 

   

The goal of every Financial Plan is for the client’s money to outlive them. If successful, in most cases, the next generation will inherit whatever is left. It then begs the question, “How do you want your heirs to receive their inheritance?”  Are they financially mature enough to handle the responsibilities of managing money?  Or better yet, will their inheritance add to their financial security or be the catalyst for personal and financial ruin?

Not only is it important that you have an Estate Plan in place at your death, but make sure others know and can implement your plan.  Using your Financial Advisor to establish your estate needs, and the needs of your beneficiaries should be a priority.

How do you want your heirs to receive their inheritance?

At Michael Phillips Black Wealth Management, we measure our success as a Financial Planning Firm not only by meeting all of our client’s life and retirement goals. We also meet the family succession needs of our Clients next generation. 

  • What family assets will be inherited?
  • How will they be inherited?
  • What are the tax Implications?

An important part of managing a Clients’ wealth is to ensure they have something to leave for the ones they love.

Unfortunately What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

 If you set up your Family Estate Plan without considering the financial consequences,
 you may be doing more harm than good. This is why we recommend that every client confront these estate issues before  they face a catastrophic event or pass away. Every family member and  beneficiary should understand their responsibilities  with the help of their Financial Advisor.

 There are the many options to consider when making these decisions:

  • What are the Family Assets?
  • How are they titled?
  • Do I wish to pass them on in my lifetime or after my death?
  • Who should manage these assets if I am unable to do so?
  • Who should make decisions about my medical care and finances if I am unable to do so?
  • What persons or possible charitable organizations do I want to have these assets go to?
  • Do I currently have a Family Trust?
  • Do I have a Will or Living Will?

Keep in Mind: If you die without a will or living trust, state law will determine how most of your belongings are distributed, and the result may not be what you would want

  “Control Money From The grave”

You may choose this option if a beneficiary is a spendthrift, their inheritance could be held in trust with restrictions that only give the beneficiary the right to the income generated from the trust, and not to the full principal. The client can then be assured that their money will benefit their beneficiaries over their lifetime and not be squandered.

Time For A Family Meeting

Once you decide your estate goals and the legal process to accomplish them, the next step is to set up a family meeting with your Financial Advisor. This allows the entire family to be present with the advisor and often the attorney.  The goal is to create an open dialogue to review any estate planning concerns or questions.  Making sure all questions are properly addressed and answered.


This meeting is also a great way for everyone present to get know the advisor that has guided their parents or family members throughout the years. It creates the environment to discuss how the inheritance will affect their lives and the Advisor is right there to answer any questions. Allowing for a true cohesive Financial Plan for their future as well.

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