It’s me again. Or is it me you’re looking for! Six weeks into the New Year and what resolution are we sticking to? Well many of us are trying to-- -- -fill in the blank. Of course trying and succeeding are two different things! So, with resolutions in mind and Valentine’s Day upon us, what is more romantic and loving than saying…how am I going to distribute what I’ve got?
It seems that at least several times a month we have conversations…questions from our Restyled clients, especially those that were 55-62 22 years ago when we meet them, who are now, well you folks can do the math!, about how they are going to distribute their assets. Most typically have straightforward estate plans that we have assisted in developing in which ultimately things are divided equally amongst their adult children. Yet life happens for certain heirs and the delicate issue of what should we/I do when the request for financial help arrives at their door? This is almost never a comfortable discussion, as we all know separate but equal is just un-American! And doing for one and not others (other than in a dire medical emergency-which fortunately has never been the case!) makes for interesting conversation.
So, what do you do and how do you modify your otherwise straightforward plan? Is it as simple as a call to the attorney who wrote your will and let them know we are going to make an early inheritance distribution to one child and to make modification to reflect said distribution? Does the attorney take into effect time value of money? Beneficiary designations? Composition of distribution and effect on remaining assets and current cash flow? Do you coordinate with a CPA the tax ramifications-current and future? Do you consult with an investment advisor to see where the opportunities exist and the consequences to the portfolio? Also, do you make your wishes known to the other children/heirs?
A great advisor who cares goes through these difficult conversations in a loving, kind and nurturing way yet at the same time challenging and pointing out pitfalls…downside, so as to give the family the best chances for success. So they all can have a Happy Valentine’s (and other) Day(s)!