A legacy plan is vital to control what will happen to your assets after you pass away. Most people hope to leave their families better off with the inheritance they receive. However, it is important to adjust your estate plan to account for your personal family situation so you do not inadvertently place loved ones in a worse position by providing them with an inheritance they cannot handle or that affects their benefits in adverse ways. Sinclair Prosser Gasior can help ensure the money and property you leave behind is managed appropriately and benefits their situation.
When making your legacy plan, there are many ways that your family situation can affect the steps you need to take. Here are a few examples of how your family situation could affect the plan for the transfer of your assets.
- If you have children who are underage: When you’re caring for kids, your legacy plan needs to address who will become their guardian if you aren’t able to care for them to adulthood. Naming a guardian is vital so you can ensure someone with your values raises your children and so to ensure your kids do not end up in the middle of a custody battle. You’ll also want to provide an inheritance so your children can be supported to adulthood and have their educations paid for — and you’ll need to structure this inheritance appropriately so the right person manages it until your children are responsible to handle on their own.
- If you have a loved one with a disability: When you have a disabled loved one whose condition prevents the management of an inheritance, you’ll want to make sure that any money or property is left in such a way that the funds can be properly managed. If your disabled loved one cannot work, you may want to make plans to provide a larger inheritance — such as by purchasing a life insurance policy to help maintain the highest possible quality of life after you are gone. Also, in circumstances where your disabled relative is receiving means-tested benefits like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will want to ensure that you have structured an inheritance so it won’t cause a loss of access to these important benefits.
- If you are not married: If you aren’t married or if you want to leave much of your wealth to someone who is not your spouse, you will need to consider whether your estate will be subject to inheritance or estate taxes.
Your heirs or beneficiaries may have other unique needs that you will want to try to account for as you plan for what will happen to your estate. Sinclair Prosser Gasior can work closely with you to determine what your options are for making a legacy plan that works for your situation.