How to Do a Will Properly for Wealthy Investors – PillarWM
Passing on your wealth to your children or beneficiaries can be a complicated process that requires plenty of pre-planning. Wealthy investors with $5 million to $500 million in liquid investment assets can learn how to do a will with the help of Pillar Wealth Management. Our wealth managers offer will-creation services as part of estate planning. You can learn about some of our wealth protection strategies in our guide for investors with $10 million or more.
STRATEGIES FOR FAMILIES WORTH $5 MILLION TO $500 MILLION
The insights you’ll discover from our published book will help you integrate a variety of wealth management tools with financial planning, providing guidance for your future security alongside complex financial strategies, so your human and financial capital will both flourish.
Clients frequently share with us how the knowledge gained from this book helped provide them tremendous clarity, shattering industry-pitched ideologies, while offering insight and direction in making such important financial decisions.
What is Estate Planning?
Every wealthy person needs to plan for their eventual passing at some point. This is where estate planning comes in. Estate planning refers to a collection of services related to the distribution of your assets following your passing. Please set up an appointment with our wealth managers to learn more about our estate planning services.
This includes tasks such as:
– Will creation
– Setting up a trust
– Naming beneficiaries
– Choosing an executor
– Planning funeral arrangements
Each of these tasks is incredibly important to plan for prior to your passing. Let’s look at each one in more detail.
A will is a type of legal document stating how you wish your affairs to be handled following your passing. This document will mention your beneficiaries, your assets, your executor, and any guardians you want to appoint.
We will look at the various steps for creating a will later in this guide.
Setting Up a Trust
You can think of a trust as a special way to hold and manage your assets. It’s common for wealthy investors to incorporate a “living trust” into their estate plan. Such trusts are typically set up while the grantor is still alive.
Trusts are typically incorporated into estate plans because they help save time and money during the probate process, which is authenticating and verifying the will. They also help protect your wishes if your will is challenged. We discuss the importance of estate planning in our book The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios and Estates – Strategies For Families Worth $25 Million To $500 Million.
Living trusts are also completely private, which means nobody can access the information it contains without you knowing.
A beneficiary is someone that has been named in your will and has been chosen to receive your assets. You can choose your spouse, children, siblings, or relatives as beneficiaries. It is also possible to offer each beneficiary a different cut or percentage of your wealth depending on your relationship with them.
Naming beneficiaries is vital because it reduces the likelihood of conflict breaking out between your children or dependants following your passing. Once each party knows how much you intended them to receive, they will accept it more.
Choosing an Executor
It is also vital to choose an executor during the estate planning process. In this context, the term “executor” refers to the individual who will administer your estate following your passing. This could be a lawyer, your accountant, a family member, or even a financial advisor. We discuss some tips for choosing a financial advisor in our special guide.
To be eligible as an executor, an individual must be over the age of 18 and should not have any prior felony convictions.
Planning Funeral Arrangements
Many wealthy investors plan funeral arrangements in their estate plan. This saves their family from funeral costs and unneeded stress during the grieving process following their passing. These plans can include:
– Naming where your funeral ceremony will be held.
– Naming who should attend the ceremony.
– Naming pallbearers.
– Naming where you wish to be buried.
How to Do a Will
You may be wondering how to do a will the right way. At Pillar Wealth Management, we recommend using the following steps:
Choose the Will Type
There are many different types of wills to choose from. This includes:
- Simple or statutory will: This will type is best for simple estates that will be easy to distribute.
- Conditional will: These wills are valid only if certain conditions are met.
- Pour-over will: This will type is useful if you want to name your trust as your main beneficiary.
- Living will: This will includes instructions regarding what happens if you are incapacitated and cannot communicate.
We will go over the steps for setting up a simple or statutory will in this guide.
Once you have chosen your preferred will type, you should start planning what it will include. A wealth manager can help guide you during each step of this planning process. Please set up a free appointment with our wealth managers to learn more about the estate planning process.
Some of the things to ponder over are:
– Who your beneficiaries should be.
– Who the estate plan’s executor will be.
– Whether or not you would like your children to be looked after by a guardian.
Choose Your Beneficiaries
This is the most important step of the will-writing process. Choosing your beneficiaries can be a straightforward matter if you have a small family. However, it is important to decide exactly how much each beneficiary should receive.
Most investors give each of their children an equal share of their wealth. However, you can also choose to distribute an uneven split depending on your personal preferences.
You should note that you can also assign charities or non-profits as beneficiaries. This option is excellent for investors who engaged in philanthropy during their lifetime and wished to continue this practice following their passing.
Choose Your Will’s Executor
As mentioned earlier, you can choose a professional or family member to administer your will. However, we recommend choosing one of our wealth managers as your executor. This is a useful option as the wealth manager would have already helped you create your will and thoroughly understand the probate process.
Select a Guardian for Our Children
Selecting the right guardian for your children is an essential step in the will creation process. If your children are under 18 when you pass away, the courts will choose a guardian for them. Mentioning a guardian in your will ensures your children are looked after by someone you trust.
You should always seek the permission of an individual before appointing them as a guardian. This will ensure they are up to the task if and when the need arises.
Sign the Will
The next step is to sign the will in front of witnesses. This step is crucial, as a written will won’t be considered valid unless it has been signed and dated accurately in the presence of two witnesses. It is important to note that these witnesses cannot be individuals who are set to inherit your wealth.
Store Your Will Safely
The final step is to store your will safely. This could be a secure drawer in your home or a safety deposit box.
It is essential to keep this physical copy of your will safe, as courts may not accept digital or “electronic” copies of your will.
What Should Not Be on a Will?
Your will should contain detailed information about your wishes following your passing. However, you may be wondering what should you never put in your will. Some things to avoid putting in your will are:
– Assets that have named beneficiaries.
– Jointly-owned properties.
– Provisions for pets.
You should think carefully before including any items in your will. Please set up a free appointment with our wealth managers to learn what you can and cannot include in your will.
Does a Will Cover Real Estate?
Many investors built up their wealth by buying and selling real estate. If you have come to own multiple properties, you may be wondering, “does a will cover real estate?”. The answer is yes. You can include physical property such as real estate, buildings, or even land in your will.
You should keep in mind that any property that is owned equally by two parties cannot be included in your will.
When Should Estate Planning Be Performed?
Estate planning is a task that should be performed as soon as possible. After all, it is impossible to tell when a life-changing or life-ending event may occur. Without a sufficient estate plan in place, there is no guarantee that your children and beneficiaries will receive the assets you intended for them to receive.
What is the Cost of Setting Up an Estate?
Before starting the will-creation process, you might ask yourself, “how much does it cost to set up an estate?” You can create your will for as little as $200. However, if you are a high net worth or an ultra-high net worth individual, it is worth using estate planning services to ensure your assets are distributed to the right people. Estate planning can cost upwards of $1000, depending on the financial professional involved.
Why Choose a Wealth Manager for Estate Planning?
If you have between $5 million and $500 million in liquid investment assets, it is in your best interest to use a wealth manager for estate planning. Some reasons to use a wealth manager include:
Access to Multiple Services
At Pillar Wealth Management, each of our wealth managers provides a wide variety of services in addition to estate planning. This includes:
– Investment Management
– Retirement Planning
– Risk Analysis
– Tax Planning
Planning For the Future
A good wealth manager can help you plan your future in many different ways. They can help you choose investments that offer passive income to your children following your passing. You can learn about some of our portfolio expansion strategies in our special guide.
If you want to increase your savings while you are still alive, they can recommend different wealth-building strategies. Some of these strategies are discussed in our portfolio performance-improvement guide.
Experience Serving Wealthy Investors
A wealth manager is a special type of financial advisor that specializes in offering services to individuals with a high net worth or an ultra-high net worth. Our wealth managers understand the various concerns you may have when creating your will and offer guidance accordingly.
They can help you execute advanced financial planning strategies without needing an in-depth understanding of investment and finance. You can learn about some of our special investment strategies in our guide for investors with $10 million or more.
Why Choose Pillar Wealth Management?
Wealthy investors from across the country have chosen Pillar Wealth Management to handle their estate planning needs. These individuals turn to us for assistance because we possess six decades of experience.
We also provide each of our clients with personalized plans to help them achieve each of their financial goals. If you have between $5 million and $500 million in liquid investment assets, you can’t go wrong by choosing us for your estate planning and wealth management needs. Please set up a free appointment with our wealth managers to start your estate planning process as soon as possible.
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