Peter, good to see you. An important topic today. We are walking through the five documents that every wealthy client needs to preserve family legacy. Proactive planning is vitally important when it comes to intergenerational wealth transfers.
For the wealthy, the stakes are often higher, the mistakes are magnified, and most, if not all, members of the family have an incentive and often the means to litigate if things don't go their way. So the first document that you say you need to have on hand is an updated estate plan. Yeah, and estate planning is so important, even when family members don't have the means. Unfortunately, even small assets can be the source of contention within the family, especially if wishes are not properly documented.
And then we could go as far as like celebrity cases example after example after example of not having those estate plans in place or finalized. But, you know, your will, your trust, your power of health care, your power of attorney, your medical directive. Those are things that are going to help you into and through the probate process or in many cases to avoid the probate process with certain assets. And I once heard probate described as a lawsuit that you place on your family on behalf of your creditors after your death. So it's not a pleasant process and it is not necessarily an inexpensive process. So you can either front the bill for the expenses of that upfront or that can be done through the probate process and experienced by your family as part of the estate planning process.
But, yeah, it's very important that you've got all of these documents and your team of professionals, your attorneys, your legal professionals, along with your financial and maybe tax professional coordinating can help you know which specific documents are needed and appropriate for your situation. And then second part of that wheel that we see various trusts when needed. And these can be a little bit more advanced for very wealthy clients.
Right. And trusts are more advanced now. There are spillover trusts that can be formed as part of a will. But a will tells the court who gets what through the probate process. But after that process, those assets are theirs to do with what they wish.
They are now theirs. Whereas certain types of trusts can provide privacy, streamlining the process around probate. And a lot of times what they're put in place for is an element of ongoing control. After your death, your passing, you can't take your assets with you.
Whether you go up, down sideways, the assets stay here and they are passed on. Well, the trust can put terms in place, conditions and limitations on how those assets are to be used and utilized. And there are many different examples of different types of trust.
There's revocable, there's irrevocable, there's special needs trusts, there are IRA trusts, there's family trusts, there's life insurance trusts. So depending on the specific circumstances of you and your family and your wishes, again, your legal team, maybe in coordination with your financial and tax professionals can help you determine. But all of these, this conversation in its entirety, Erin, is because so many people overlook the necessity of the legal planning side of things.
And the financial planning can be impeccable. But if we have not done the legal planning in complement with that, you may be missing the boat and things can crumble very quickly, unfortunately. And another document, and I know communication is something that's very important to you, you're always preaching this, a legacy letter. Right. Well, the legal documents are all about the facts, just the facts, right? Very cold and emotionless by intention.
That is the way that they are intended to be. So when we are passing assets to loved ones, to family, to children, to grandchildren, potentially to anyone else, it's about a transference of value, but it's also about a transference of values. So maybe a legacy letter helps to explain how you came to where you are, your status in your financial life and why you're making certain decisions about the division of assets and what you would hope or intend that others do with that conveyance of wealth. It really is a difficult process for family. And having that letter, having something explained, having a piece that helps to facilitate the explanation of why certain decisions were made or helping to transfer the values that helped you to accumulate the wealth may be of great importance and appreciation by the family. The reason I like that one personally, Peter, is if you are averse to having those hard conversations in life, you know, just put it in the folder.
Yep, a lot of people are. You know, money is a very sensitive topic and a lot of families are very buttoned up and closed lip about having conversations about money. Maybe this is the one opportunity, although I think we'll get it here in a second. I would encourage you having those conversations earlier rather than waiting until a letter to explain some of these things. And part of the plan also in documents, a family governance plan.
Right. And again, this is something that I think is is great to have in place to explain how certain assets are to be divided and maybe more importantly, where there are co-owned assets after your passing, how decisions are to be made, who is capable of making what decision on what topic, basically dictating who is in charge of certain assets. We'll get specifically into a business in a moment, but that's a big one where there is a business interest involved or maybe where there is a property or several different properties, how that is to be be managed and executed by an administrator, executor or kind of a committee of family members. Running the family can be like running the business, which is why the number five is a succession plan for the family business.
Right. And especially with a family business, how that gets passed generationally can be of utmost importance to the person who built the business, to those who are receiving a business, maybe potentially for generations of family members. And so we want somebody who is capable, who is knowledgeable, who is understanding of the details of the business to be the one in charge. We would hope to pass that, but we don't want to give another family member less than their fair share of the wealth that the family has built potentially through the business. So, you know, the family business succession plan is important. It is a specific conversation within a legacy or a state plan and often can go back to some of those other things that we talked about, specifically like here, maybe a life insurance policy or even a life insurance trust can help the individual who would want to own the business, buy out those family members who might not have an interest in running the day to day of the business thereafter. Peter, thank you so much for laying these documents out for us.
It's helpful to see them kind of listed one by one. If somebody has questions about these documents, I mean, because this can be some real advanced planning, what's the best way to reach you? Well, I am not an attorney.
Right. I know enough to know where these documents are valuable, where they could present some some benefit. And I do have connections with with attorneys. So if you have questions about this, we can talk it over at a high level. But to get into the details, we may need to consult with either your attorney to make sure these things have been done and coordinated with the financial matters. Or we could introduce you to an attorney that that we work in coordination with. So to get the conversation started, though, you are welcome to give me a call here at Rashan Planning nine one nine three zero zero five eight eight six nine one nine three zero zero five eight eight six.
You can email me Peter at Rashan planning dot com or again, just the website Rashan planning dot com is the domain to visit there. All right, Peter, thank you. Absolutely important topic.
And unfortunately, I meet with people all the time that have not addressed these items there. And so very, very important. Ladies and gentlemen, glad we're talking it through. Peter, thank you very much for your time today. Thank you.
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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-04 12:38:03 / 2023-11-04 12:42:15 / 4