Do you enjoy giving to others? Do you find it rewarding to have the ability to help those around you, especially to your family, your friends, your employees, or charities? Many of our clients want to create a legacy that will allow them to transfer their wealth to their children, grandchildren, and future generations.

When transferring wealth, no matter how large or how small, it can be a complicated process. There is a misunderstanding that the steps to take for the transfer of wealth should be reserved, or taken, only at the very end of your life or time of your death. However, there are steps that may be taken through your Florida estate planning to reach your goals. These are wealth transfer strategies that may be taken earlier in your lifetime, under the guidance of an experienced Florida estate planning attorney, which can benefit both you and those who are the recipients of your gift.

Now when you begin to contemplate this type of wealth transfer it is important to begin discussing these transfers with your intended beneficiaries.  For most of our clients the focus is on their adult children. Below are some important points for you to consider.

  1. It is extremely important to find out if there are any barriers or risks involved in giving money to your adult children. With the guidance of your qualified Florida estate planning attorney, have a candid discussion about whether or not the money you transfer to your adult children in life or at your death may be at risk. Do this before you make any concrete plans to transfer wealth to your children. Divorces, marriages, child support, adoptions, births, creditor issues, business failure, massive debt…this is just a start to the list of the challenges your adult children could be facing, and you may not know the full scope. This does not mean you cannot transfer to them but your Florida estate planning attorney can work with you on your options for a structured transfer, as opposed to an outright gift, which may not be appropriate.
  2. You need to understand the tax brackets for you and your children and discuss their financial situation. Often our children are not in the same financial situation we are. There may be achievable, positive steps you can take to avoid taxation on your assets. This can be especially advantageous when it comes to assets that have massively appreciated over time. If you are going to make a gift to your child, with the guidance of your Florida estate planning attorney, determine if this could be advantageous to you both.
  3. You should discuss your short-term and long-term financial planning goals with your adult children. If you are considering making a transfer of wealth, it is important to talk to your adult children about their financial goals. Ask them if they need short term access to capital, which they could repay, to accomplish a specific goal? Or, find out if they have long range plans such as a grandchild’s tuition for college? Or do your adult children want to purchase a specific insurance to protect them against uncertainty? Find out how the money you would transfer to them could be used and work together with your Florida estate planning attorney to create a plan.
  4. Finally, before you start to discuss the transfer of wealth with your children, we highly recommend that you work with your Florida estate planning attorney to determine the correct structure for any wealth transfer. Even though writing a check to your adult child may seem the most simple option, it is probably not. There are better ways to use for the transfer of wealth than just writing a check. Your experienced Florida estate planning attorney will be able to give you guidance on the pros and cons of each strategy you could use to make any wealth transfers, before they are made.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. At the Perlin Estate Planning & Probate our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services.  By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.