Treece: Prospective decedentsWritten by Ben Treece | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Death is a heartbreaking tragedy; no matter how much time we have with someone, it never seems like enough. This week, I wanted to have a candid and honest discussion with readers about just that topic. The title of this piece comes from an attorney friend of my father’s, who said, “We are all prospective decedents.” What he was pointing out was that we will all pass away at some point, and this week I wanted to take some time to explain how you can either make life simple for your heirs or extremely complicated.
The unfortunate thing about death is that no one ever plans for it; there’s no window on your schedule blocked off for when your time is up. That is why taking a proactive stance and taking care of things such as your will and your finances can be very helpful to your heirs. I have seen families torn apart literally for decades, just because one’s intentions were not made clear.
My advice to those who are willing to consider the inevitable is to be as specific as you possibly can. While your favorite pocket watch may not have a substantial retail value, the sentimental value could be priceless to more than one of your heirs. If one does not make their wishes known in their will, it can cause anger and frustration within the family.
I also recommend talking to all of the following: a certified public accountant (CPA), an attorney and an investment adviser. All of these individuals can give you significant insight on how to structure your assets so that your heirs will benefit the most from them. The CPA can tell you the financial implications your heirs will face, the attorney can tell you how to structure your assets to minimize any tax issues and the investment adviser can help structure your accounts in the way that best benefits the account holder and his or her heirs in the event of their passing.
The best thing that a person can do is sit down, look at what they have, and take it all one piece at a time. A Transfer on Death on your investment account can allow your beneficiary to receive assets without going to probate. Putting your home in a trust can also allow you to bypass probate. A detailed and all encompassing will can provide guidance to your heirs for what your wishes were for your personal possessions. These are all things that no one enjoys contemplating, but they are necessary to think about, for the sake of future generations.
To quote Benjamin Franklin: “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” If we take the time to consider our options, we can actually greatly benefit our heirs and their future generations, even after we have passed.O
Ben Treece is a 2009 graduate from the University of Miami (Fla.), BBA International Finance and Marketing. He is a partner with Treece Investment Advisory Corp (www.TreeceInvestments.com) and licensed with FINRA through Treece Financial Services Corp. The above information is the opinion of Ben Treece and should not be construed as investment advice or used without outside verification.