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Estate Planning For Wealthy Clients With No Close Family

Estate planning can be difficult in modest circumstances, and it can become extremely difficult for clients with large estates. However, the difficulty in normal circumstances increases exponentially when a wealthy person has no children, no spouse, and no close family members. In those situations, a variety of issues arise.

For instance, while most people with children or other close relatives leave their assets at death to their close family, a person with no close family is faced with determining how they want to leave their assets at death. Will the assets be divided between a list of close friends? Will the assets be left to charity? Will the assets be left to distant family members for the mere goal of keeping the money in the family? Whatever the conclusion, the decision can be tough.

Additionally, when someone does not have close family members, they often struggle with selecting people to assist them with medical and financial decisions if he or she develops dementia or Alzheimer’s. They also struggle with selecting someone to serve as the executor of their Will when they pass away. Likewise, if they have decided to create a trust to benefit minors and/or charities, they may struggle to select someone to serve as trustee.

Finally, as a wealthy person without close family ages, they may struggle with acknowledging when they need to involve others to help them. If they fail to involve someone soon enough, they could end up as unwilling participants in a court-ordered guardianship. That guardianship proceeding would likely not result in the wealthy person’s desires being fulfilled the way they would have chosen them to be fulfilled.

If you are struggling with the best way to structure your estate because you do not have a close family, the attorneys at Ford + Bergner LLP can help you find the best plan that meets your specific needs. Please email us or call 713-352-0937 to discuss your goals.