A person may be quite concerned about what will happen with their family when they pass away. Thankfully, a person's support of their family doesn't have to end with their death. A person can leave assets to their family members.
Providing financial support for family members is one of the goals estate plans can be directed towards. As a note, there is not just one way to leave family members assets in an estate plan. Rather, multiple different mechanisms are available for making such gifts. A person could make a will leaving gifts to family, set up a trust for the benefit of family members, name family members as beneficiaries for assets that pass through a beneficiary designation or make gifts to their family members during their lifetime, just to name a few options.
Now, the fact that there are many different ways assets could be left to relatives does not mean that what methods a person who has a goal of leaving assets to family members decides to use in their estate plan to try to achieve this goal is unimportant. On the contrary, it can make a big difference.
Many different things could potentially get in the way of a family member a person is trying to leave assets to getting the full benefit of the assets upon the person’s death. One is tax consequences. Another is issues arising during the probate process that result in the process requiring more resources to get through than otherwise would have been necessary.
Which mechanisms a person picks for leaving assets to family could impact how likely such roadblocks to their goals fully be reached would be to arise. Which estate planning mechanisms would be best at avoiding such roadblocks varies depending on a person's situation, what assets they are wanting to leave to family, their family's circumstances and other factors. Skilled estate planning attorneys understand how different circumstances can impact what the best ways would be for a person to set up their estate plan for achieving the goals they have, and can help individuals with complex issues such as issues regarding how best to make desired gifts to family members.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, "5 Estate Planning Strategies to Keep Your Money in the Family," Maryalene LaPonsie, Nov. 19, 2015