U.S. Capital

Estate Planning Attorney Michael Gilfix Comments on Trend of Limiting Children’s Inheritance

Jan 30, 2015

Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) January 30, 2015 – According to estate planning professionals, an increasing number of high-net-worth individuals are limiting how much money they leave to their children.

The most famous example of this might be Warren Buffet, who has said publicly that he does not want to leave his children so much money that they do not need to do anything with their lives. Similarly, Bill Gates has said that he plans to donate almost all of his multi-billion dollar fortune to charity, leaving about $10 million to each of his three children.

Estate planning attorney Michael Gilfix agrees there can be benefits to creating an estate plan that does not leave the majority of assets to one’s children. Gilfix is the principal attorney at Gilfix and La Poll Associates, a successful Northern California law firm. “Significant charitable donations set a wonderful example for children and send a strong message about values,” said Gilfix. “This is especially true for families who take the time to explain these kinds of estate planning decisions to their children.”

Gilfix cautions that families should understand all of their options before making estate planning decisions. “Some families do not realize that trusts offer ways to deal with some of the challenges that an inheritance might pose.”

For example, some families may be concerned about one or more children whose destructive personal or financial habits might make a sudden inheritance a recipe for disaster. According to Gilfix, those families have options. A parent could choose to give the money to charity instead, but he or she could also leave the money to the child in a carefully structured trust that will provide for the child’s needs without making too much available at once.

“There are a number of ways that wealthy families can solve the dilemma of an over-large inheritance,” said Gilfix. “They key is to strike a balance that is in keeping with family values, and a number of estate planning tools can help families do exactly that.”

Gilfix & La Poll Associates LLP
2300 Geng Rd., Suite 200
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Telephone: (650) 493-8070

Facebook: Like Us!

  • Increasing focus on the “invisible patient:” it’s time to recognize and treat caregiver burden
    It has long been known that those who care for an elderly or incapacitated loved one can suffer physically, psychologically, financially and socially. These caregivers have been known for years in the medical community as the “invisible patients.” Little has been done for them. According to the New York Times, there are more than 40 […]
  • Estate planning and the single person
    Many discussions about estate planning revolve around couples and families. Yet a large percentage of Americans are single. Some are divorced, others are widowed and still others never married. Single people may want to adopt estate planning strategies that differ somewhat from those a married couple would use, depending on the situation. For example, an […]
  • Innovative Tech Companies Take on Autism
    In the United States, autism affects one in 68 children. But according to a recent report in The Economist, many American families wait months and even years to get a diagnosis, in part because doctors cannot keep up with demand. The average family does not get an autism diagnosis until two years after initial symptoms […]
  • Wealthy American Parents Face Inheritance Dilemma
    Can a large inheritance do more harm than good? According to a new article from the American Association of Retired People (AARP), many wealthy parents still struggle with decisions about how much money should be left to their children, and how that inheritance should be structured. Wealthy parents from Bill Gates to Sting have publicly […]
  • Planning for family — to protect family assets — during the holiday season
    As the holiday season approaches, the thoughts of many turn to family. It is a season of picking out gifts and planning celebrations for loved ones. This time of year can also be a reminder to consider long-term planning for our loved ones, and to consider the gifts that can last not just a season, […]