Family dynamics often have a bearing on how smoothly wealth passes from one generation to the next. At Hagel Lawfirm, we have seen how differences among family members can have a negative impact on the value of an estate, and we work with our clients to help them avoid such an outcome.
For example, if you own a business, you can take measures now to prevent conflict and ensure a smooth business succession. What you want to avoid is ambiguity. Ways of achieving this may include a family trust, an estate freeze and clear communication with all affected parties.
Divorce is another consideration. In far too many cases, costly disputes erupt when an heir's former spouse tries to claim a portion of the inheritance. Again, it is possible to prevent the need for litigation in these matters by working with an experienced estate and financial planner who can help make your wishes clearly known.
Heirs with former spouses can also benefit from this kind of guidance. An estate planning lawyer can assess the situation and explain the available options for protecting the inheritance.
Trusts are effective estate planning tools, perhaps especially when there is a risk that an heir will misuse his or her inheritance. You can stipulate the terms of the trust, including how and when the money is distributed.
In all of these matters, planning is the key to safeguarding estate assets and protecting loved ones. Please see our inheritance planning overview to learn more.