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DIY Online Estate Planning & Generational Wealth

The following article will cover:

  • The importance of consulting an attorney for creating estate planning documents and the potential drawbacks of using online services.
  • Real estate is the most common form of generational wealth, including family LLCs and trusts to maintain and benefit from income-producing properties.
  • Various strategies for first-generation wealth management over time, including revocable family trusts, family limited partnerships, family LLCs, and generational trusts.

Do I Need A California Estate Planning Attorney, Or Can I Do This By Myself With An Online Service?

DIY Online Estate Planning & Generational WealthWhile it is possible to create estate planning documents using online services, it is generally advisable to consult an attorney to ensure that your documents are accurate and legally sufficient. Online services may produce generic forms that don’t always address your specific needs and may contain errors or blanks, potentially causing problems in the future.

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney allows for a customized plan tailored to your individual circumstances. Additionally, estate planning laws vary by state, and it is essential to have an attorney familiar with the specific laws of your state of residence. If you move to a different state, it is best practice to consult an attorney licensed in your new state to ensure your estate plan complies with local laws.

What Is The Most Common Form Of Generational Wealth?

Real estate is often considered the most common form of generational wealth. Many families focus on acquiring and managing income-producing properties to support themselves during their later years and provide financial security for their children. Some families establish family LLCs or generational trusts to encourage their children to maintain and benefit from these properties instead of selling them.

What Strategies Can Be Used In California To Create Generational Wealth For Your Family?

In California, various strategies can be employed to create and manage generational wealth, such as using generational trusts in conjunction with family LLCs or other legal structures. Depending on the nature of the assets and how they’re operated, different structures can be utilized to manage generational wealth effectively.

For instance, a generational trust could serve as the parent entity, with multiple LLCs managing various commercial properties and a corporation running an actual business. These assets can be placed within the generational trust, with specific rules and guidelines for each asset type, such as real estate or business operations. This structure ensures that the children and trustee have clear direction on when assets can be sold and how income is allocated for reinvestment or distribution to family members.

What Are The Best Strategies For First-Generation Wealth Management Over Time?

  1. Revocable Family Trust: A traditional revocable family trust is a common and relatively simple strategy for wealth management. Parents can set age-based thresholds for distributions to their children, allowing beneficiaries to gradually access the funds and learn from their financial decisions over time.
  2. Family Limited Partnerships: Another strategy is to establish a family limited partnership, in which a valuable asset, like a commercial property, is placed into the partnership. The children can become limited partners, and a third-party trustee or real estate manager can serve as the general partner, making leasing and management decisions.
  3. Family LLC: A family LLC can be used as a vehicle to distribute wealth to the next generation, with family members as members of the LLC. This structure provides liability protection and centralized management of the assets.
  4. Generational Trust: A generational trust can be set up to disperse wealth not only to children but also to grandchildren or even further generations. This trust can be designed with specific rules and guidelines for asset management and distribution, providing long-term financial security for multiple generations.

These strategies offer varying degrees of complexity and control, allowing families to choose the best approach for their unique needs and goals. By employing these methods, families can manage their wealth responsibly and ensure their legacy supports future generations over time. For more information on DIY Online Estate Planning & Generational Wealth, an initial consultation is your next best step.

Hudson Martin PC - Carmel, CA

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