Estate planning is a customizable process that is tailored to suit your needs and your vision of the future. As such, you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing and drafting your estate planning tools. What’s important is that you know what you want out of the process so that you’re effectively using those options for your benefit.
One estate planning consideration that you may want to take into account is your ability to control your assets long after you’re gone. After all, this may be the best way to protect your interests and your loved ones’ financial stability.
What are the best ways to control assets?
The good news is that you have a lot of options when it comes to controlling your assets after you’re gone. Let’s look at some of the most influential ways here:
- Incentive trust: Through an incentive trust, periodic payments are made to a named beneficiary to provide them with a steady income. However, the bulk of the trust’s assets aren’t distributed until a qualifying condition is met. This condition can be just about anything you can think of so long as it is legal, such as graduating college, getting married, having a child, holding a job for a specified period of time, or even completing some sort of substance abuse treatment program. This gives you an enormous amount of power over your estate, even after you’re gone.
- Remainder trust: This type of trust allows you to support a named beneficiary with whatever is leftover in the trust when the beneficiary passes away being distributed to another beneficiary. For example, you could designate that your spouse is to be the beneficiary until their death, at which time the assets will be distributed to your children from another marriage or a charitable organization. Again, here you’re controlling the assets for perhaps decades to come.
- Spendthrift trust: If you have a loved one who isn’t good with money management, you might want to think about using a spendthrift trust. Here, the trustee, who is responsible for managing the trust, will make distributions to the beneficiary in a way that provides them with support, avoiding large distributions that can be easily squandered. This gives you control over the viability of the estate’s assets, allowing them to last much longer into the future.
- Business succession planning: If you own a business, you’ll want to put a plan in place that allows you to dictate how your business will run in the event that you pass away. This typically requires succession planning, where you take account of your business and identify someone who is best positioned to run the business in accordance with your wishes.
There are other estate planning options that you may be able to use to retain control over your estate’s assets for a long time to come. You’ll just want to have a strong sense of your estate planning goals so that you can discuss those with an attorney of your choosing.
Are you ready to create the comprehensive estate plan that you need?
Estate planning can be stressful, and it’s never easy to think about your own mortality. But you might feel a sense of relief once you have a strong estate plan in place. With that in mind, now may be the time for you to reach out to a legal professional to start discussing your vision of the future.