Preparing Heirs For Transfer of Inheritance

The key to a successful wealth transfer is maintaining clear communication. Estate planning attorneys can help when you wish to involve heirs in the planning stages in order to make the wealth transition easier.

Open Communication

Lack of trust or communication has squandered 60% of family fortunes, which is why it’s important to seek the help for your beneficiary, advisors and estate planners can guide the beneficiary in managing generational wealth. Contentious disagreements can be avoided by involving heirs as early as possible in the estate planning process.

Organize Financial Documents

It’s imperative to keep financial documents in order and keep this information in a safe location so it may only be accessed by the beneficiaries. This includes up-to-date legal documentation, a will, a power of attorney, and beneficiary designations.

Some of the relevant financial detail documents that should be accessible at all times are:

  • Account statements
  • Share certificates
  • Loan and mortgage paperwork
  • Real estate ownership papers
  • Business interest documents
  • Information on revolving accounts
  • Life insurance documents

Responsible Planning

Some heirs who have newly acquired an inheritance may be inclined to spend it on extravagant purchases. By helping to plan how the money will be used, an executor or an estate planning attorney, can prove vital to the beneficiary.

Craft a plan with the long-term goal of saving some of the inheritance for the next generation. Assist heirs in planning for wiser use of their inheritance in the following ways:

  • Invest in higher education 
  • Pay off pending debt
  • Save towards an emergency fund
  • Home improvements or upgrades
  • Make equity-producing investments

Honest and clear instructions over inheritances can help manage expectations and prepare heirs for the wealth transfer. 

©Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. 35 Arnold Street, New Bedford, MA 02740, 336 South Street,   Hyannis MA 02601 and 45 Bristol Drive, Easton MA 02375.  This article is for illustration purposes only.  This handout does not constitute legal advice.  There is no attorney/client relationship created with Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. by this article.  DO NOT make decisions based upon information in this handout.  Every family is unique and legal advice can only be given after an individual consultation with an elder law attorney.  Any decisions made without proper legal advice may cause significant legal and financial problems.