People face many important decisions when creating an estate plan. These decisions require a great deal of thought. One of the most important decisions to make is the selection of beneficiaries and the method of distribution to beneficiaries.
Consideration of beneficiaries and the distribution process often requires deliberation and compromises to avoid potential family disputes, yet many people make these decisions quickly. In a discussion on business decision-making, Freek Vermeulen, author and associate professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the London Business School, stated: "Whether it's a personal choice or a strategic business decision, emotions often crowd out objectivity.” The same can be said about estate planning decision-making. Emotions often fuel the decision-making, rather than careful consideration of what’s best for your estate and loved ones.
Here are a just few items to consider when deciding on asset distribution:
- Who will distribute your assets when you die?
- Will all beneficiaries share in your estate equally, or will there be conditions attached? – For example, will a beneficiary abusing drugs or alcohol still receive an inheritance?
- Will your beneficiaries receive their inheritance outright, or will other estate planning methods be employed to provide asset protection?
- Will your beneficiaries receive their inheritance in a lump sum, or stretched out over time? If stretched out, who will handle the pro-longed distributions?
- How well do your beneficiaries manage money? Are they able to manage their own inheritance or will they need assistance?
This list is not meant to be exhaustive; rather, it is intended to provide basic ideas to ponder when preparing to establish or update your estate plan. If you would like to discuss these and other items that affect the distribution of your estate, Morris Hall has over 40 years of experience assisting clients with their estate planning needs. Give us a call to set up your free consultation.
Contributed by MH Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney, Darren L. Richardson.
Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall? First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters. Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones. We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership. If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.