As a parent, you're likely hoping to leave your children an inheritance, and doing so maybe one of the primary factors motivating your life's work. But without taking the proper precautions, the wealth you pass on is at serious risk of being accidentally lost or squandered due to common life events, such as divorce, serious debt, devastating illness, and unfortunate accidents.
You might think only the wealthy need to worry about asset protection planning. But the truth is that if you don't have millions, you may be at even greater risk. For instance, if you're a multi-millionaire, a $50,000 judgment against you might not be that big of a deal. But it could be devastating for a family with a modest income, savings, and home. Before it's too late, learn the strategies you may use to safeguard your assets.
When you think about your loved ones who've passed away, you probably don't think very much—or even at all—about the "things" they've left you. And when they do leave something behind, what you likely cherish most about the object are the memories and feelings the item evokes, not the thing itself. Your family's most precious wealth is not money, but the memories you make, the values you instill, and the lessons you hand down. Protect and preserve what matters to you most.
In today's highly litigious society, you are at near-constant risk for costly lawsuits—even if you've done nothing wrong. This is especially true if you have substantial wealth, but even those with relatively few assets. No matter how careful and responsible you may be, accidents happen all the time, and no one is immune to the threat of a potentially devastating lawsuit. For this reason, you should consider adding a maximum level of protection by investing in umbrella insurance.
Whenever you have a partner or multiple owners in a business, one of the most important—but often overlooked—aspects of the relationship is planning for how it will end. It's crucial that you come up with a clear exit strategy, and do so at the start of your relationship when things are going well, and not wait until you encounter problems down the road. Indeed, the more thought you put into your exit plan ahead of time, the smoother things will be when one of you finally does move on.
Don't let what happened to Bob Ross's family happen to yours. If you own a business, it's crucial to put in place an effective estate plan and should be properly coordinated with your business agreements to ensure that all of your wealth and assets will be passed on to your loved ones in the event of your death or incapacity. Failure to do this could lead them in the same situation as Bob's son, Steve, who's left with nothing, while the business built by his father continues to earn every year.
When you are a kid, finding a suitable gift for Father's Day can be a struggle. You want to get Dad something he'll enjoy, but you can't afford expensive things. And even after you become an adult, that struggle for the perfect Father's Day gift often continues, albeit in a slightly different way. With this in mind, give your father a tribute to the role he has played in your life by preserving his legacy for generations to come with a Family Wealth Legacy Passage.
As we head into the peak of wedding season, if you are a newlywed or are about to tie the knot, add "estate planning" to your do list. And yes, we imagine that at this happiest time of your life, planning for your potential incapacity and eventual death is probably the farthest thing from your mind right now, but getting it handled as part of your wedding planning is the greatest gift you can give your soon-to-be spouse.
Planning for your potential incapacity and eventual death, regardless of your financial status, is something that you should take care of immediately, especially when you have children. While Aretha lived a relatively long life, you'll never know when tragedy may strike, and through diligent estate planning, you can save your family from the needless disputes, expense, and embarrassing public exposure the late singer's loved ones are currently enduring.
Nearly three years have passed since Aretha Franklin, known as the “Queen of Soul,” whose earnings are worth $80 million, died from pancreatic cancer at age 76. Yet, due to poor estate planning, her children have yet to see a dime of their inheritance, and what they ultimately receive will be significantly depleted by back taxes. Also, it’s still not clear whether or not Aretha ever had a valid will. Her story shows how destructive poor estate planning can be for the loved ones we leave behind.