Most estate planning attorneys will tell you that all you need for an estate plan is the standard set of financial and legal documents.
However, using this standard over the course of history, only 30% of all inherited assets ever successfully transition to the second generation. Less than 10% of inheritances successfully transfer to the third generation – your grandchildren!
In addition, large inheritances are well-known to cause many problems for the beneficiaries rather than help them achieve a better life and reach their maximum potential.
In the next two decades, as successful baby-boomers pass their lifetime savings to their heirs, trillions of dollars and vast amounts of intangible wealth will be frivolously wasted and lost to future generations, due to the lack of proper preparation to successfully handle the responsibility and impact of inheritance.
Ensure Future Generations Benefit From Your Legacy and Love
As always, being properly prepared is the key to your estate being successfully received and preserved by your heirs.
It therefore makes sense to invest the appropriate time and resources to heir preparation, which harnesses your family’s human capital and your advisor team’s professional expertise to provide a rock-solid foundation for the successful long-term transfer of your tangible and intangible assets to future generations.
Avoid Mistakes That Cause 70% of Estate Plans To Fail
If 7 out of 10 estate plans fail, which means the heirs are involuntarily separated from their inheritance within one or two generations, what can you do to ensure your heirs are in the 30% of successful families who maintain and effectively transfer their tangible and intangible assets from one generation to the next?
Successful families remain so as a result of careful planning, plus time and effort properly spent to prepare heirs to handle the responsibilities of inheritance and successful family succession through the ages.
Create a Lasting Legacy
It is important to understand why so many estate plans fail and how those reasons negatively impacts your ability to fulfill the mission of your plan.
In a nutshell, 70% of estate plans fail — along with 70% of 2nd-generation family businesses — because too often we do not properly prepare heirs for success (individuals and families) when an estate is inevitably transferred.
New Approach to Estate Planning
We focus on understanding what is truly important to you and your family, including intangibles like family heritage and beliefs, as well as treasured heirlooms and possessions.
We ensure that your estate plan accurately reflects your wishes and protects what is most valuable to your legacy, your family, and future generations of heirs.
In additional to the traditional financial documents, the estate plans we develop also include additional documents and instruments to ensure that your:
- Heirs are prepared.
- Money spent on wise investments.
- Heirs continue to work together harmoniously.
- Personal assets passed on — family members agree and are comfortable.
Consider Cost Versus Benefits and Risks
Saving taxes and minimizing costs are addressed, but if other issues are not addressed a family is set-up for disagreements down the road.
- If just one child loses share of family assets — financial losses out-weight cost of taxes and legal fees.
- Estate assets at risk (tangible & intangible) or lost by family disagreement.
New Formula for Success
T x H = Your Likelihood of Success
T = Technical (Financial and Legal)
H = Human (Intent, Family and Heir Preparedness)
Most estate plan legal documents are adequate regarding technical issues (finances and real estate), but they do usually do not include your intentions:
- Assets should make a difference in your children’s lives to help them succeed.
- Assets should not cause harm or cause disagreement.
- Assets received with understanding that family values and love more important than money, and that you have faith and hope for them.
- Heirs understand how to use documents for their protection and well-being for the future.
- Heirs understand documents are an expression of your love for them.
- Heirs understand restrictions are a recognition of risks.
Why Do Estate Plans Fail?
The life lessons you’ve learned have capital value to pass on to future generations, but those lessons are lost forever if they are not shared and documented.
Ensure Your Estate Plan is Successful
To proactively prevent your estate plan from failing — the assets are involuntarily lost or your family harmed — it is important to think about:
- What and where is my intangible wealth from a personal standpoint?
- What do I really want to pass on to each heirs and family member?
- How do we accomplish estate planning in a manner that is healthy and fun?
The Value of Intangible Assets
Incorporating your intangibles into your estate plan documents gives them greater long-term meaning, because your heirs can understand:
- Asset distribution schedule.
- Work they have to do.
- Purpose of estate structure.
- Your hopes for them.
If your intent is family harmony, most of your family probably also feels that is important. Therefore, it is exercise and strengthen the family “muscles of communication” needed to maintain peace and harmony.
Typical Family Behavior Vs. Desired Behavior
What usually happens in families after parents die is not what you envision or desire.
Typical family behavior:
- Lose ability to listen to each other like when younger.
- Perception of family member’s successes and failures influence respect for that person’s ideas and objections.
- Lack of respect excludes family members >>> leads to disagreement, rift and disharmony >>> leads to unnecessary expenses.
Desired family behavior:
- Form consensus in areas all members can agree upon and develop plan on that foundation.
- Pursue that plan with platforms for discussions that build family strength and agreement.
- Provide a positive model for each generation to see how a family can be and the difference it can make.
- Heirs are properly prepared to accept and meet responsibilities of inheritance and roles in family.
Start Planning Your Legacy
Achieve Transition Successfully
Evaluate your family’s odds of achieving a successful asset transition. Complete the 1O-question Estate Transition Checklist to determine how prepared you and your family are to achieve your asset transition goals.
Complete the Estate Transition Check List
Determine Your Priorities
Our Personal Estate Planning Priorities Survey, in combination with checklist you just completed, will help determine your vision and goals for your estate plan and how it is administered by your heirs.
Complete the Survey: Estate Planning Priorities