There’s more that you can do with your estate plan than most people realize. But unless you know your options, you may miss out on the opportunities that best support your vision of the future and the protection of your loved ones and your assets. Therefore, it’s wise for you to educate yourself on the estate planning vehicles that may be best positioned to effectuate what you hope to get out of the estate planning process.
How you can use your estate plan for good
There are a lot of ways to use your estate plan for the betterment of others and to further causes that you believe in. Let’s look at some of those options here:
- Incentive trust: By creating one of these trusts, you use your wealth to motivate your loved ones to complete an identified goal. For example, you may tie the release of trust assets to your son’s graduation from college or your daughter’s marriage. The triggering condition that you set on the release of assets can be almost anything you want, so you can be creative here to drive your loved one toward a more fulfilling life.
- Charitable trust: A charitable trust can be a great way to support an endeavor that you believe in. There are many ways to use a trust to support a charity, but one of the most popular is the charitable remainder trust. Here, you name a primary beneficiary, such as a family member, with whatever is left over in the trust being distributed to the charity once the initial beneficiary passes away. You can also choose to leave a large gift through your will. There are a lot of ways to support a charity in your estate plan, so be sure to discuss it with your attorney if this is something that you’d like to do.
- Business succession: If you own a business, you’ll need to figure out what will happen to it once you’re gone. This means coming up with a succession plan that ensures the viability of your business while also providing your chosen successor with financial stability. You’ll want to be thorough here, so that you’re not leaving your business at risk.
Keep in mind that there very well may be other ways that you can use your estate plan for good. What’s key is how you define “good.” For example, if you think that the most good that you can get out of your estate plan is simply providing financial stability to your children, using a simple will or a certain kind of trust that provides long-term stability may be your best option. If, on the other hand, you want to immediately support your loved ones while protecting your estate from taxation, gifting during your lifetime might be your best bet. You may have a number of options at your disposal. You just need to educate yourself about them.
An attorney can help you navigate your situation
Whatever your vision of the future is, there’s a path to get there. Although it may not be clear to you, an attorney who is experienced in crafting well-developed estate plans can help you create the path that you need to get to where you want to be. If you think that you could benefit from that kind of assistance, we encourage you to reach out to a firm like ours to find out more about what an attorney can do to help you.