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Estate planning considerations for people with complex assets

by | Aug 26, 2020 | Estate Planning

When you make enough money to start saving for retirement or investing the money to earn a return on it, the advice from financial professionals is typically to diversify your holdings. Putting everything in stock, for example, would leave you vulnerable during an economic downturn that affects the stock market in a dramatic and negative way.

The more places you invest and store assets, the less likely you are to experience significant negative consequences due to economic factors beyond your control. However, when you hold assets in a variety of manners, you may need extra care when planning your estate.

Make sure you have a realistic idea of the value of your holdings

Whether you have money in fines, stocks, real estate or digital currency, the value of those assets will fluctuate over time. You need to have a solid understanding of their current value and their likely future value.

The greater the worth of your assets, the more planning becomes necessary. While the state of Texas does not assess an estate tax, the federal government does. If your estate is worth several million dollars, planning to reduce its value through giving or the creation of a trust will help you limit the estate tax liabilities for your loved ones.

You need an executor who knows what they’re doing

If you intend to have the executor of your estate liquidate some of your assets to distribute their value among your family members, you will want to make sure that the person in charge of your estate’s administration is someone competent at making complex financial decisions. Someone who doesn’t understand the assets you hold may have a hard time maximizing their value as an executor.

Valuable and complicated assets open the door to family challenges

People in your family may have unrealistic expectations about your estate because of its complexity. When people know that you have investment accounts or other complex assets, they may overestimate the value of your estate and anticipate receiving more of an inheritance than they do.

Individuals who feel slighted may be more likely to challenge your estate plan to try to get a bigger portion of the assets you leave behind. Taking steps to reduce challenges or to speak with loved ones before you pass can reduce the likelihood of unnecessary challenges and delays to your estate’s administration.

Careful planning and thorough consideration of your unique circumstances and assets can help you maintain control over your legacy now and after you die.