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How to protect your estate against difficult heirs

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2020 | Estate Administration

No matter the type of family, it’s likely that some members within it are not exactly role models. Although an estate holder may disagree with the lifestyle choices of certain family members in New Jersey, they are usually still added to an estate place. However, this does not mean that these individuals will have free reign of your assets after you’ve passed away. The following includes a list of ways you can protect your estate against difficult heirs.

Check and double-check your beneficiaries

One of the most common mistakes people make when estate planning is failing to appoint beneficiaries to their retirement accounts. Since these funds are not distributed with the rest of your estate, it is important to have someone that you trust appointed to this position. This will prevent these funds from going into probate and possibly landing in the hands of difficult heirs.

Set up a trust

If your estate contains a large amount of money, you may be worried that certain heirs won’t be able to handle the funds properly. In this case, the best possible route to take is to create a trust. Doing so allows you to enact certain restrictions and stipulations on the way the funds are used. For example, an estate holder may require an heir to finish college to be allowed to receive the funds. In addition, creating an irrevocable trust is a great way to avoid paying estate taxes as the funds no longer belong to you but to the trust itself.

Give gifts right now

If you do not trust that your estate will be distributed properly, you do have the option of giving away your money while you’re alive. The IRS allows people to gift funds of up to $15,000 per person per year. It is recommended, however, not to give away assets that increase in value over time.

Fortunately, there are several ways to protect your estate from being mishandled by the black sheep of your family. However, it is still recommended to consult with an attorney who has experience with estate planning to ensure that all legal restrictions are established and that no loopholes remain.