If you’re thinking about estate planning, you understand how important it is and how it’s inevitable that, eventually, everyone is going to need a plan. These plans may be very complex for those with multi-million dollar estates and multiple homes, and they may be very simple for those living on a fixed income without much in the way of assets, but everyone needs some way to pass what they do have to the next generation. So, do most people have a plan in place?
A lack of preparation
Interestingly, despite the points noted above, the truth is exactly the opposite: Most Americans do not have an estate plan. There is a complete lack of preparation for that wealth transfer. Considering that the next generation will see the largest wealth transfer in history, that’s concerning.
This wealth transfer is going to involve $16 billion in assets. Who holds that money? Where will it go? Who stands to earn money on that transfer?
Everyone holds at least part of that money, and they want it to go to their children and grandchildren. Will it? Possibly. Without a plan, though, a lot of it could get eaten up in taxes, court costs and other fees. It could be subjected to disputes between heirs, running the costs even higher. Money that someone was hoping to use for a specific cause — like gifts to charity — could end up in someone else’s pockets.
Making a plan
Planning ahead is critical to make this wealth transfer happen as it should. Only those with a good plan in place can rest assured that their portion of this great wealth transfer will be handled as they intended. If you’re not sure where to start, an experienced attorney can guide you.