VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Legacy planning can preserve wealth for the future

People in Florida thinking about the future may want to consider how they can improve their existing estate plan in order to protect generational wealth. There are a number of key documents that everyone should have in place, such as wills, health care proxies, advanced medical directives of living wills, revocable living trusts and other items. People can create an irrevocable trust to receive the proceeds of their life insurance policies in order to protect the beneficiaries of the policies from creditors or additional taxes. In addition, trusts can be an important way to handle transition in the family business.

However, despite extensive estate planning, wealth is often lost from one generation to another. On average, there is a 70 percent chance that wealth will decline significantly by the second generation and a 90 percent chance of such a decline by the third generation. Legacy planning can be an additional step to help preserve these assets over generations. In order to develop a legacy plan, technical advice from a lawyer as well as financial experts may be critical. Legacy planning can also involve a different mindset that focuses on the long-term viability of key assets.

One of the first steps in moving toward legacy planning is to review existing estate documents. Most estate plans work to effectively transfer assets after death, minimizing probate delays and costs, reducing estate taxes and supporting a smooth process for beneficiaries. In addition, people can create more complex trusts and other legal structures to keep them growing long after the creator passed away.

These kinds of plans for the future can make use of wealth to provide for generations to come. An estate planning lawyer may help develop an array of documents to protect one's key assets and enable the easiest possible transition for loved ones.

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