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Estate planning to benefit multiple generations

New Yorkers who have spent their lives working hard to amass wealth are often concerned about how to preserve it so it will benefit multiple family generations. Due to factors such as dividing assets between beneficiaries, the effect of risk and taxes with each successive generational transfer, family wealth can be depleted in as little as two or three generations.

People are able to use family trusts to help preserve the wealth for which they have worked for generations to come. Instead of simply dividing the assets between children through a traditional estate plan, they can leave them to a trust to benefit them.

One key way to make amassed wealth benefit many generations is to treat the money as a way to give new generations a start in life. Money can be earmarked to pay for college educations or to provide seed money to start new businesses. Grantors can make distributions contingent on any number of different activities. Successive generations can also contribute to the trust to allow the funds contained within it to continue growing, thus benefiting the family in perpetuity.

It is often a good idea for wealthy people to use multiple types of estate planning tools in order to minimize the amount of assessed taxes and pass their assets on to their intended beneficiaries. In addition to preparing a will, people may want to consider setting up different types of trusts to help meet their estate goals. With careful estate planning, people can help to make certain they leave their families with a legacy that can last. They may want to discuss how best to go about planning to transfer their assets with their estate planning lawyer. A lawyer, upon reviewing their client's assets, goals and needs, may advise their clients about the various types of documents that may best help them.

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