Amid the well-publicized $60+ trillion intergenerational wealth transfer taking place, many of your clients may be the provider or receiver of an inheritance. This is an opportune time to help your clients and their families thoroughly incorporate inheritance into their estate planning.
Most inheritances are “small” — at least, they may be smaller sums than we expect. The Federal Reserve has stated about 50% of all inheritances amount to $50,000 or less, and approximately 30% are between $50,000 and $250,000. Only 2% of all inheritances exceed $1 million. For most, maximizing the use of every dollar in an inheritance is a high priority.
You can help your clients maximize these dollars by offering practical decision-making advice as well as the financial planning tools to execute their decisions. This is an opportunity to become a trusted resource for your client’s whole family. In over 90% of wealth transfers from one generation to the next, the financial advisor of the giver loses the client relationship to the advisor of the recipient. Your expertise and care for your client’s future generations, as well as the client’s inheritance and estate planning goals, can help strengthen those relationships.
The heart behind the inheritance
Determining who receives an inheritance and how much each person receives can be a difficult, emotional process. You can help your client weigh these decisions. For example, Bill High suggests five questions your clients can ask about their inheritors’ readiness to receive. Your client may also want to discuss the opportunities to include a charitable organization as a beneficiary of their inheritance. And if your client feels unsure about where to begin, you can help them get started by discussing the principles of inheritance in the Bible.
Complex estate planning tools for your clients
Furthermore, there’s an opportunity to become the legacy giving expert among donors and non-profits in your community. You can help your clients, their inheritors, and any charities they support understand the giving and estate planning tools available. Inherited non-cash assets — including private business interests, collectibles, and real estate — are more complex than cash gifts. These complex gifts are where The Signatry can add tremendous value by working with you to navigate the nuances and challenges inherent with these noncash inheritances. For example, charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder unitrusts are just two of the many tools your clients could use right now to build a sustainable, generosity-driven estate plan. The Signatry can help you and your clients sort through the details.
Whatever the size or complexity, helping your clients think through decisions about their inheritance and estate plans now can reap enormous benefits for your clients, their inheritors, and the causes they are passionate about supporting.