Sudden wealth may be a six-figure sum for some estates, or may be a five-figure amount – what every amount of sudden wealth has in common is that it is a “windfall” of sorts which is separate from the expected financial shifts and therefore outside the recipient’s financial comfort zone.
It is one of those scenarios that so many people play around with: what they would do if an unexpected windfall appeared in their life, a large sum of money came their way due to an inheritance, contract, business sale, lawsuit, lottery win, stock options sale or divorce settlement? While it can be entertaining to imagine, the truth is, few people are prepared to successfully manage large, unexpected sums of money. When an individual works over the years to accumulate wealth, there is a financial growth process at work; he or she learns incrementally how to manage the issues that arise. The problem with a large financial windfall is that many people are out of their element and may not know how to successfully manage those funds. Approximately 70 percent of people who come into sudden wealth lose those funds within several years due to poor financial management.
Estate planning lawyers are typically one of the safest professionals to contact following a financial windfall. Estate planning attorneys do not get paid a percentage of the financial sum, nor are they compensated other than by their standard legal fees. Their one goal is to secure the safety of the financial estate of their client and inform them on how to best plan for their future.
The best way to approach any unexpected wealth is with a long-term strategy. An experienced estate planning attorney can map out a number of financially sound options for protecting that windfall from estate taxes, probate, unscrupulous investors and dependents. An estate planning attorney can also help ensure that gains from the unexpected wealth are sustained in years to come to pass on to heirs. There are a number of estate planning tools which can help secure a large sum of money now and for the future.
Visit www.littmankrooks.com for more information about our legal services in estate planning.