“It’s a boy!”
The royal cry rang out across the world July 22nd, announcing the birth of Prince George. News, stories, opinion pieces, blogs, tweets, posts and photos of the little one and his parents have continued to echo around the world in the last month. And it certainly won’t stop as he grows and progresses, gets into trouble and achieves greatness. Who knows exactly what the future holds for that boy. Some applaud and think how lucky he must be. He’ll ‘have it all.’ Others take pity thinking of the unwanted, unasked for fame, the responsibilities, the lack of privacy, and certainly the future public scrutiny and criticism. Some may expect him to become nothing more than a spoiled brat.
I wonder what the new parents think about his future. Although they live in a world and a class that is much different, I expect they have many of the same worries, concerns, hopes and aspirations for their new baby as any new parents.
What does this have to do with you and financial planning? Well, many of us have our own ‘princes’ or ‘princesses,’ whether they be our own children, stepchildren or children-in-laws. Maybe it is a niece or nephew. Maybe it is the grandchildren. Some are still young, new to the world, while others may have grown and are well into their adult years. We worry about each of them, their future, and hope the very best for them, nothing less. Financial matters are no exception. Yet, many vary in their opinion on the best way to financially benefit and teach loved ones appropriately.
As income grows or resources accumulate, or perhaps as we age and our own financial goals simply become less of a priority, it is natural to wonder how to best transfer financial blessings and lessons to these loved ones. Fairly recently, during an estate planning meeting, one client asked me an excellent question: is it better to leave wealth to heirs at death or gift it to them while alive?
I wish I had the one right answer to that, but there really is not one that fits every time, for everyone! Still, I thought I would share with you the following points as you decide what is right for you.
Reasons favoring leaving assets as an inheritance:
Reasons favoring gifting while alive:
For virtually everyone, it becomes a blend and balance of the two. For some, likely for little Prince George, it has the potential to become a very complex and intricate blend, depending on the goals and objectives involved. After you’ve determined your own top-level best philosophy, work with your financial planner to get to the specifics that best fit. Then you can focus even more attention and energy staying in touch and keeping up with your princes and princesses!
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