How much wealth will be passed on over the next fifty-some years? The Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy has recently released new research revealing a remarkable transfer of wealth, potentially greater than the sum of all that transferred throughout American history before. Heirs, charities, and the government will receive from estates a combined total of more than $59 trillion by 2061. That’s unheard of!
Whether through final estate bequest or total lifetime gifts, heirs will benefit from the largest chunk of this wealth–$36 trillion–while charitable organizations receive the still grand amount of $27 trillion.
Most interestingly, that transfer of $59 trillion, already larger than any in history, is a conservative estimate. As time horizons lengthen, the precision of the data lessens–future Americans may be looking at an over $10-trillion-dollar margin of error in their favor.
Will your carefully accumulated wealth be in this grand pool? What plans have you made for either passing on or receiving inherited wealth?
As an estate planning lawyer, I know all too well that too many have hardly given their estate a second thought–some people only turn to a professional after reality has struck them and their families a hard blow. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so I encourage families not to put off their planning for tomorrow. And remember, your estate plan isn’t a mere static document; as your circumstances change, your planning documents may quickly become obsolete.
My relationship with my clients continues well after the papers have been signed. You deserve the security that comes in knowing that your wishes will be followed. The dynamic legacy planning we put in place will give you ample control over the transfer of your wealth to future generations. I make sure you have electronic access to all your estate planning files, and offer a free review session every three years to help you with these three vital aspects of your plan:
- Your family won’t get caught up in an inescapable web of expensive, unnecessary, and public court processes if you have given proper attention to transferring ownership of your assets into your trust. One cannot simply establish a trust and go on one’s merry way; it requires proper funding to be valid and any probatable assets left out of the trust are subject to court process, defeating one of the main purposes of trust planning. It’s good to have regular oversight of your trust to match up to the changing character of your assets and your family.
- Your greatest treasure isn’t money – it’s your family and your health, and that treasure needs even more thoughtful attention. Guardians, both emergency and permanent, need to be selected to care for your minor children, and responsible trustees need to be appointed to maintain the security of your family’s inheritance. And, of course, you need to choose who you want to make your health care decisions should you not be capable of making them yourself. More importantly, your selection for all these individuals should be changed as time goes by and life changes – an appropriate choice at one point in time may not be the best choice a few years later.
- Likewise, your most valuable gift isn’t money. Your values, experiences, family history, and all the other indispensable intangibles that make up who you are as a person are what your family values the most, and those need not be lost to them after you’re gone. We help you leave that gift for your family. Today’s technology offers an opportunity like never before to reach out to the family you have now and the generations yet to come. I focus on what matters most–your values you hold, the stories you tell, the experiences you’ve been through–your death doesn’t need to be an end to these. Your messages to your loved ones may change or be added to as time goes by.
Call our office today at (612) 206-3701 or fill out our contact form to schedule a time for us to sit down and have a family estate planning consultation, where we can help you look at what would happen now if something were to happen to you and ensure everything passes to your loved ones in the way you want.