Things to Consider When Planning...

  • Do all the parties get along?
         - Do you have a blended family?
         - Is there a need to protect the surviving spouse or the beneficiaries?
  • Do you want your child to act as successor trustee, or an independent third party?

  • Does one beneficiary have different needs than another beneficiary?
         - Do you have a special needs child? Be sure they don’t lose their government          benefits after receiving an inheritance.
         - Do you have one child who could use the money more than another? Be sure        to explain why in your estate planning so that the beneficiaries understand          in the future.

  • Who do you currently give support to, or who would you anticipate giving support to in the future? Kids? Grandkids? Elderly Parent?

  • If something happened to you, who would raise your children? Where?
           - Even if you have a small estate, this is a major reason for completing a will.
             If you name a sister and brother-in-law to act as guardian, what if your                sister dies? What if they divorce?
           - If your successor trustee is the same person as your guardian – there are no          checks and balances. In the alternative, does your successor trustee get                  along with your guardian?

  • Do you have any unfinished business to take care of?

  • Do you own a business? Who will take over in the interim or permanently?

  • Do you wish to make plans for your pets?

  • At what age do you want your beneficiaries to have unfettered control of their inheritances?
             - Don’t create trust-fund babies. You can implement rewards and                            incentives while still leaving flexibility for the unexpected.

  • Do you wish to disinherit anyone?

  • Who inherits if your named beneficiary predeceases you? Follow the blood line?

  • A case for following the blood line: you never know when your child might get divorced; the divorce rate is close to 50% these days. Some long-standing marriages are being tested by current economic situations. You may think of your son- or daughter-in-law as your own child. Plan for the possibility of divorce though. If you name an in-law as a direct beneficiary, and they get divorced, the money you gave them goes with the former in-law. Your son or daughter, and possibly your grandchildren, may end up losing out.
  • Do you wish to impose conditions on your beneficiary’s ability to inherit?
           - What if they are abusing finances, alcohol or drugs?
           - What is most important to you for your beneficiary to achieve?

  • Who gets your “stuff”? Quite often it is the little stuff of sentimental value that creates dissention among the beneficiaries instead of the money. 

  • Do you need life insurance to cover estate taxes so that the beneficiaries don’t have to have a fire-sale?
    ​        - This is especially important when real-estate and farm land is involved.

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Goodyear, AZ 85395


Things to Consider

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