Let’s face it – taking a risk now and again can add a bit of spice to life. How else to explain hang-gliding or road-side sushi stands? On the other hand, keeping one’s family and fortune safe from risk is on the list of “lifetime goals” for most people. Estate planning is all about protecting your family and your hard-earned assets by reducing potential risk. A properly prepared and maintained estate plan will greatly reduce the risk that the inheritance you leave to your beneficiaries will be lost to their ‘creditors and predators’. Events that threaten assets and inheritance can include lawsuits, bankruptcies, divorce, disability, failed businesses, friends with ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes, gold-digger boyfriends/girlfriends, and perhaps a beneficiary’s own bad judgment. Increasingly, potential beneficiaries who have substance abuse problems or gambling addictions are of concern to parents and other family members who are planning their estates. Many of these concerns can be addressed by creating an estate plan that includes asset protection and creditor protection for the inheritance you will leave to your family. Since no one knows what the future will bring, taking steps to protect your family and your estate from possible misfortunes that could occur long after you’re gone is just smart business.
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