While winning the lottery is well outside mainstream reality for most people, it’s not uncommon to suddenly receive a large inheritance, a settlement, or perhaps a stroke of good luck. There are several stories of the major failings of people who’ve come into money only to see it disappear. If you find yourself with a sudden windfall, here are some tips that may help you avoid following down the same path:
You may want to take some time and space to process your windfall and think through your next steps. While you may feel you’re surrounded by well-intentioned people, there’s a chance that not everyone has your best interests in mind.
In some cases, if you tell one person, you may as well publicly post on social media. This could be difficult if you come into an inheritance unless it was passed to you through a trust. In general, when assets pass by trust, they avoid probate proceedings which are a matter of public record.
Instant wealth can make life much more complex. With the new opportunities it brings, some people quickly wipe out portions of their new-found wealth through ineffective tax planning, guilt-induced generosity, or poor cash flow management. Money decisions can be emotional, which is why some people work with a financial professional that serves as an emotionally-neutral party and provides personalized guidance to help them stay on track.
Depending on your needs, you may also want to consider working with a tax professional, an attorney, and an insurance professional. If you aren’t sure where to start, your financial professional may have a network of other specialists they can recommend.
You may be faced with several decisions and opinions on how to allocate your money. Depending on the size of your windfall, you may have a broad range of options available. Many people feel that creating a guaranteed stream of income is a good starting point. It’s believed that, if anything were to happen to your assets, you’re more prepared to sustain yourself for a period of time. There are several ways to create an income stream, and your financial professional can help you find the solution that works for your needs, risk tolerance, and goals.
This can be one of the touchiest parts of being a windfall recipient. Depending on the size of your windfall and the degree of investment in your financial future, you may have philanthropic desires, including giving back to friends and family. But it’s not uncommon to feel overrun with requests from people you haven’t spoken to in years. One way to reduce the awkwardness of dealing with requests is to forward them to your financial professional, who can give out predetermined sums. It’s not uncommon for people with newfound wealth to be on a salary controlled by their financial professional.
If you’ve recently received a large inheritance or another windfall, contact us and let’s create a strategy that will help you pursue your goals.
One of the first questions many clients ask is whether they need a trust. Its a great question, but it leads to another: What do you want your plan to accomplish? Lets begin with a brief discussion of what trusts are and how they work. Then well explore their benefits, which should give you a better idea of whether a trust is right for you and your family.What is a Revocable Living Trust?There are many different types of trusts and they can accomplish a wide range of goals. However, when most people think about trusts, the one they have in mind is a Revocable Living Trust.A Revocable Living Trust is a legal document that allows the grantor (the person who creates the trust) to take personal assets and transfer them to the ownership of the trust. While the trust technically owns the assets, the grantor can continue to use them as he or she normally would.When a Revocable Living Trust is established, the grantor names a trustee to manage the assets in the trust during the grantors lifetime. Most grantors name themselves as trustee, giving them complete control over the trusts assets. Typically, a successor trustee is also named to take over management of the trust and distribute trust assets after the grantor passes away.What are the benefits of a Revocable Living Trust?One of the primary benefits of a Revocable Living Trust is that it enables assets held in the trust to avoid probate after the grantors death. This allows trust assets to be distributed to heirs quickly. The costs associated with probating the estate are also avoided. In addition, a Revocable Living Trust protects the privacy of the grantor (and beneficiaries) because the trusts provisions are confidential. A Last Will and Testament, on the other hand, is a matter of public record. Anyone can access information about the decedents assets, creditors, debts, and more.Another benefit of Revocable Living Trusts is they not only allow the grantor to control trust assets during life but also after he or she passes away. The grantor can stipulate when, how, and under what circumstances the successor trustee is authorized to distribute trust assets to beneficiaries. This is particularly important if the beneficiaries are not yet mature enough to manage an inheritance on their own, or in situations involving blended families. For example, the grantor could stipulate that children from a first marriage receive assets from the trust, not just the children from a more recent marriage.Revocable Living Trusts can also be used to protect the grantor and the grantors family from a stressful and expensive guardianship proceeding if the grantor becomes incapacitated.As we mentioned earlier, there are many different types of trusts. If one of your primary goals is to protect assets from long-term care costs, creditors, lawsuits, and other threats, an Irrevocable Trust or an Asset Protection Trust may be a much better option then a Revocable Living Trust. If you have a loved one with special needs, a Special Needs Trust can allow you to create a fund for goods and services not provided by Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income while protecting eligibility for these vital programs. A Charitable Trust allows the grantor to set aside money for both a charity and beneficiaries, realize certain tax advantages, and generate an income stream.These are but a few examples of various trusts and what they can accomplish. If youre still not sure whether you need a trust, we welcome the opportunity to explain your options in detail and, if appropriate in your particular circumstances, design and implement the trust thats right for you and your family.
Youve taken the time to plan for the financial well-being of your loved ones and yourself. Youve created a customized estate plan to address your goals and concerns. Your plan includes one of the most powerful estate planning tools out there, the Revocable Living Trust, which allows your heirs to avoid probate upon your death and provide for management of your assets without interference from the court should you become disabled or otherwise incapacitated.All is well and goodunless you have not taken the steps necessary to fund your trust. Without proper funding, your trust is worth no more than the paper it is written on.Its hard to believe, but many families take the time to create a comprehensive estate plan, together with a Revocable Living Trust, then fail to properly fund the trust. And even though a Will may provide that all assets pour over into your trust for further disposition, this takes place only after said assets pass through probate, thereby negating one of the primary benefits of creating the trust in the first place.Another important factor to consider is that assets such as life insurance, individual retirement accounts and pension plans pass to designated beneficiaries. If the trust is not named as the beneficiary of such assets, they will not be held (and protected) by the trust. Likewise, assets held in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship will go to the surviving joint tenant, not the trust. In addition, assets held in your name alone will not go to the trust until probate has been completed, which can take several months, a year, and sometimes even longer.Given all of this, it is extremely important for you to review all of your assets to determine which titles should be changed to your trust. Assets you will want to review, and possibly title to your trust, include all of the following:Bank accountsCertificates of depositInvestment accountsRetirement accountsStocks and bonds held in certificate formReal propertyTangible personal property such as art, rugs, jewelry, vehicles, etc.Promissory notesClosely-held business interestsWe can counsel you on the best strategies to employ so that your assets are correctly titled and your trust properly funded to achieve your goals and ensure your wishes are carried out.
In America today, an estimated 40 million individuals selflessly dedicate their time to providing unpaid care for a loved one. This statistic, reported by the National Alliance for Caregivers and AARP, underscores the enormous commitment caregivers make on a day-to-day basis. Often, these devoted individuals spend over 44 hours per week caring for a spouse or partner, a commitment that can take a significant toll on their own wellbeing.This total immersion in caregiving responsibilities often leads to a state known as caregiver burnout, a condition defined by physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. This exhaustion is often accompanied by a drastic shift in attitude, transforming from a positive, caring demeanor to a negative and indifferent one. Many caregivers become so engrossed in their roles that they feel guilty for spending time addressing their own needs, instead of focusing solely on their elderly or ill loved ones.Recognizing Caregiver Burnout: The Role of an Elder Law AttorneyAs elder law attorneys, we are intimately familiar with the complexities and challenges caregivers face. We believe its crucial for caregivers to recognize the warning signs of burnout, in order to maintain their own health and continue to provide quality care to their loved ones.Ask yourself the following questions:Are you exhausted even after a full nights sleep? Do you seem to catch an unusually large number of colds? Do you feel like your whole life revolves around caregiving but you dont get any satisfaction from it? Are you always tense or feel like youve lost the ability to simply relax? Are you increasingly impatient with the person in your care? Do you often feel helpless, sometimes even hopeless? If youve found yourself answering yes to some or all of these questions, and these feelings have developed since you took on your caregiving role, its possible you are experiencing caregiver burnout.Prioritizing Self-Care: The First Step towards RecoveryRecognizing the signs of burnout is the first step. The next step is taking action to care for yourself. At Safe Harbor Law Firm, our team of experienced elder law attorneys is ready to provide empathetic, professional support during this challenging time.Our approach is both professional and personable, ensuring that we fully understand your unique situation and can provide the most effective guidance. We value your dedication to caregiving and want to ensure you have the necessary resources to care for both your loved one and yourself.Reach Out Today: Let Us Help You Navigate Caregiver BurnoutDont let caregiver burnout control your life. Reach out to us today and lets start the journey towards better self-care together. With our expertise and your dedication, we can navigate through this challenging time and find a path that ensures both you and your loved one receive the care you need.
We, at D. Gates Wealth Management, along with LPL Financial, are dedicated to helping our clients make informed financial decisions about issues that affect their financial needs, goals, and objectives. We strive to help clients to create a sense of financial well-being toward pursuing financial freedom. Additionally, we work with clients to determine what is important in their lives be creating a comprehensive financial plan centered around their values.Whether you're just starting out or you've already built a strong financial foundation and want to know what's next, D. Gates Wealth Management can help you take the next step.COMPREHENSIVE FINANCIAL PLANNINGCash Flow PlanningInvestment ManagementRetirement PlanningSocial Security OptimizationEducation FundingInsurance & Risk ManagementTax Management PlanningEstate PlanningINVESTMENT MANAGEMENTRisk AnalysisInvestment Policy DevelopmentTax Management PlanningPortfolio ManagementBUSINESS PLANNINGRetirement PlanningGroup BenefitsProfitability AnalysisSuccession Planning
For over 20 years, Danielle has been helping professionals and their families gain a sense of clarity and confidence about their financial future. She is driven by her desire to help people turn their complicated and often overwhelming financial pictures into goal-based, comprehensive wealth management strategies that they can feel good about. Danielle's commitment to helping her clients navigate their financial lives has served as the foundation for her financial services practice, D. Gates Wealth Management. Danielle Gates is a Certified Financial Planner and her personal goal is to be a lifetime resource for each and every client. In her free time, Danielle enjoys pedaling her bike through local trails and beaches, hiking, and traveling.