They’re worth billions, but these tycoons have decided that their kids can’t have it. Can leaving a big inheritance to your children ruin them? These tycoons believe so and have publicly declared they will not leave their fortunes to their kids.
- Warren Buffett – billionaire investor: “I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing.”
- Michael Bloomberg – New York City mayor and billionaire: “Nearly all my net worth will be given away in the years ahead.”
- Gene Simmons – rock star: “(My kids) will never be rich off my money. Because every year they should be forced to get up out of bed, and go out and work and make their own way.”
- Gina Rinehart – mining billionaire: Court documents show that she doesn’t believe her four children are fit to manage the family trust, claiming they do not possess the necessary capacity, skill, knowledge, experience, judgement or responsible work ethic.
- Bill Gates – Microsoft founder: “I knew I didn’t think it would be a good idea to give the money to my kids. That wouldn’t be good either for my kids or for society.”
- Nigella Lawson – celebrity chef: “I am determined that my children should have no financial security. It ruins people not having to earn money.”
While it’s unlikely that we will have billions to worry about giving away, good estate planning practice takes this question into account.
Do you want to leave everything you own to your children and/or grandchildren? Would you be concerned if they received their inheritance at a young age? Are you concerned that your children and/or grandchildren may not manage inherited money well?
These questions are as relevant for you as they are for the tycoons mentioned above.
How Even Tycoons Should Approach Estate Planning
It is very important that you begin your estate plan today, as you never know when it will be needed to distribute your estate. You need to start asking yourself the important questions such as: do you want to leave your estate to your family? Or do you want your income to go to charities that you think will have benefit? Whatever the case, the strategies listed below can help with your estate plan.
1/ Start managing your wealth
It is a good idea to begin looking at your income and finances and begin setting goals. Goals can include saving for a new house or setting aside money for your retirement. You may find that after discussing your goals, you will need to make some adjustments in finances to ensure you reach your goals. What happens to your estate planning if you reach those goals? Who will benefit?
2/ Write your will now
It is an essential idea to write your will now. The assets you have now may not be included in your previous will. The children and grandchildren you had when you wrote your will may have increased in number. It is essential to make sure you have addressed and discussed what you wish to do with every asset, and included every relevant beneficiary. As time goes by, your circumstances will change, and it’s important that your estate planning reflects this.
3/ Nominate your executors
Your will should appoint trustworthy executors. These are those persons responsible for administering your estate after your death. You should make a first choice of persons to be your executors, a second choice and, in our view, even a third choice. This is important because any executor or executors appointed by you may not be living when you die, may be incapacitated or may simply refuse to act as your executor/s. Although you cannot force someone to become your executor, you need to choose willing people whom you trust, who are sensible and who would wisely seek legal advice about administering your estate.
4/ Let your family know
An important part of estate planning is ensuring that your family knows your wishes. If they do not know what you wish to do with your estate, they may start fighting or arguing over your estate.
5/ Make sure it’s clear
Wills should be clear, precise and easily understood. Should a will be unclear or confusing, it must be taken to court for interpretation by judge. This is a costly and time-consuming process. It is often homemade wills that are unclear, confusing or don’t cover everything they need to which require intervention by the court. It is much easier to seek advice when drafting a will to ensure you have covered everything you need to consider.
A good estate plan can take into account these questions and impose limits if you have concerns, such as age requirements. If you’d like to discuss this further with a specialist in estate planning, don’t hesitate to contact us today!