Estate planning is a very personal and highly customizable process, and there are many unique estate planning strategies depending on your needs. Every family is different, and a “one-size-fits-all” approach to estate planning is not appropriate. Some people may have unique assets, such as art collections or cryptocurrency, that require special planning considerations. Others may have specific family dynamics or charitable goals that need to be addressed in their estate plan, while others want to minimize tax liabilities.
Take a look at my recent article addressing these issues. My article can be found Here.
Here are a few unique planning strategies that an experienced estate planning attorney may utilize.
- Incentive Trusts: These provide financial motivations to your heirs for achieving certain goals or milestones. This can be a useful estate planning tool to ensure that your children are financially responsible, educated or leading a healthy lifestyle.
- Pet Trusts: Some people set up a trust for their pets, with specific instructions for their care and well-being. This includes appointing a guardian for the pet, providing for food and medical care, and even specifying burial arrangements for the pet. You can read more about Pet Trusts here.
- Charitable Giving: Some individuals include charitable giving as part of their estate plan. A charitable remainder trust can also be used to donate assets to a charitable organization while still retaining an income stream from those assets during your lifetime.
- Legacy Planning and Ethical Wills: These involve creating a plan for passing down your values, beliefs, and traditions to future generations. It may include writing a family history, creating a time capsule, and passing down personal mementos and other sentimental items. They aren’t legally binding but can be a meaningful way to share your thoughts and feelings with your children.
- Business Succession Planning: If you own a business, it’s essential to create a plan for what will happen to the business if you become incapacitated or after you pass away. This could mean choosing a successor or making a buy-sell agreement to make sure the change of ownership goes smoothly. Take a look at my recent article on LLC Voting Rights.
- Family Heirlooms: Family heirlooms and sentimental items can be passed down to future generations. (Of course, kids don’t value chinaware or figurines like previous generations!)
- Trusts for Special Needs Individuals: Trusts can be established to provide ongoing financial support for those with special needs without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits.
These are just a few examples of the many unique and interesting estate planning strategies that are available. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you create a plan that meets your specific wishes, personal objectives and unique family dynamics.