In the classic 1987 movie Predator, Arnold Schwarzenegger and his team of highly-trained military operatives are stalked through the jungle by a ruthless and invisible hunter. To multiply the danger, the Predator has an arsenal of high tech and futuristic weaponry at his disposal. Did I mention he was invisible? (Spoilers) As the plot proceeds, the Predator picks off Arnold's team one by one, until only Arnold remains. In true Schwarzenegarian fashion, Arnold leverages his brute strength, ingenuity, and endearing bravado to get the best of the villain. They made a sequel. Don't see it (unless you love Danny Glover and you hate yourself.)
Here's the too-long-didn't-read version: Wealth Predators are exactly like that. They stalk your assets and devour them until there's nothing left. That is, unless you have your very own Arnold, in the form of a Living Trust.
One of the unsung benefits of estate planning is protecting and preserving wealth between generations. Some lost wealth will always be attributed to taxes and poor planning by beneficiaries, but a significant amount of wealth is lost to Wealth Predators every year.
We know the government is always coming for their share, but there are some less obvious predators lurking about. The most common wealth predators include: con artists that monitor probate proceedings, greedy lawsuit plaintiffs/creditors, charities, bitter spouses/ex-spouses, in-laws, and exorbitant bills from hospitals, retirement facilities, and nursing homes. Sometimes the beneficiaries themselves are responsible for squandering inheritances; from substance abuse, gambling addiction, mental illness, or simply poor money management.
Family turmoil is frequently to blame for wasted wealth. And, even the most seemingly well-adjusted families are not safe from future conflicts created by: divorce, bankruptcy, failed businesses, and unexpected tragedies. When parents are no longer there to resolve family conflicts, such catastrophic events can crumble these formerly harmonious relationships.
This is where proper estate planning can help. A well-crafted estate plan can contemplate these scenarios and implement strategies to prevent predators from pillaging and wasting wealth. Commonly used tools to combat wealth predators are: revocable/irrevocable living trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILIT), spendthrift trusts, medicaid trusts, and special needs trusts. When it comes to using estate planning tools to create and protect wealth, it's best to keep in mind that there are rules, exceptions, more rules, and exceptions that swallow those rules. So, always consult an experienced estate planning professional before implementing any estate planning techniques.
Because every client is unique, and not from a strictly financial perspective, we don’t market one-size-fits-all plans. Client’s values and beliefs are every bit as important to their estate planning objectives as their money is. That's why every plan I create is custom-tailored to achieve the goals and objectives of each client. As an added bonus, we offer members of our Estate Maintenance Program: 1) annual Estate Strategy Sessions with me, 2) annual updates to your entire estate plan (as needed), 3) 24/7 access to your entire estate plan on any device through our secure client portal, and 4) access to a yearly comprehensive financial checkup with a financial advisor, accountant, insurance specialist, and mortgage broker.
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Learn how to get your very own Arnold to protect your assets by: Booking a Private Consultation or Clicking Here for more estate planning advice, informational videos and articles, as well as a copy of my new Ebook Six Things to Know Before Making a Will or Living Trust.