It’s a wonderful blessing to be alive and well and living well into the 100s, but there are certain unexpected twists along the way.
It’s not now uncommon for people to live past 90, and for those who have access to state-of-the-art longevity medicine and treatments, it’s possible to live to 100 plus while enjoying an active life. However, as detailed in Forbes’ recent article, “Estate Planning For The Ultra-Wealthy When Living To 120 Or Beyond,” estate planning for the wealthy who live much longer must consider potential issues for the families. When and how should high-net-worth families transfer assets to future generations?
Among very wealthy families, a critical question is when the next generation will be able to benefit and control the assets they are intended to have. If a wealthy father—thanks to medical advances—is living past 100, it will be some time before his children take control. Perhaps they’ll be in their 70s or 80s. Unless families carefully contemplate all of the possibilities and take proactive estate planning steps, there could be potentially disastrous consequences lurking.
Controlling wealth until death is a common practice with self-made millionaires. However, this can lead to poor estate plans—especially when they live a long time. With wealth holders living a very long time, they must create estate plans that clearly define what’s going to happen. It many cases, it’s prudent to transfer assets before death. This can eliminate possible problems such as family disputes and lawsuits and assets strangely disappearing.
Moving some of the wealth before death can be very beneficial for everyone, lessening the possibility of dementia or older wealth holders being exploited.
An experienced estate planning attorney will be able to address the issue of protecting the wealth holder, planning the most productive timing of wealth transfer and ensuring that the person who is enjoying the benefits of an ultra-long life also enjoys the benefits of a well-designed estate plan.
Reference: Forbes (January 18, 2017) “Estate Planning For The Ultra-Wealthy When Living To 120 Or Beyond”