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The Heritage Law Center, LLC Blog

Leaving a Legacy of Wealth and Values

POSTED ON: April 8, 2019

Concerns about inherited wealth can be found among many parents (wealthy and otherwise) who wrestle with whether or not bestowing wealth upon their children or grandchildren will be a blessing or a curse. It especially an issue for the ultra-wealthy. So in August 2010, Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet created the Giving Pledge – an invitation for billionaires or those who would be if not for their giving, to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. The purpose is to share their money and make the world a better place to live.

While the Giving Pledge is a wonderful effort, there are still people with wealth who would like to figure out how to “safely” pass on an inheritance to their children. Estate planning does offer a valuable tool for parents and grandparents to pass their values and life lessons to their family and others: a Wealth Creation trust, prepared using incentive provisions.

Incentive trusts are typically defined as trusts with provisions to encourage or discourage certain types of behavior and promote family values. Here are a couple of examples of how they can work:

  • If grandparents want their grandchildren to get a good education so they know how to handle their inheritance wisely, they can set up a Wealth Creation Trust that names the circumstances under which the assets will be distributed. A portion of the assets could be given to the beneficiary when they graduate college and then another portion when they finish graduate school.
  • If parents desire to nurture their children’s entrepreneurial spirit, they can establish a Wealth Creation Trust to provide funding for a business startup, which fosters that spirit while passing on their values regarding the benefits of hard work.

The truth is that many parents want to leave assets behind for their children, but they also want to pass along a set of values. A Wealth Creation Trust using incentive provisions allows parents and grandparents to accomplish this worthy goal.

Call The Heritage Law Center to schedule a time for us to sit down and have a family wealth planning session, where we can identify the best ways for you to ensure your legacy of love and financial security for your family. Call us today at 617.299.6976 or send an email to mkarr@maheritagelawcenter.com to schedule an appointment.