Understanding Legacy Planning

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our estate planning lawyers have helped families throughout the greater Charlotte area engage in legacy planning. Legacy planning is a particular type of estate planning that focuses on helping families transfer their wealth effectively to the next generation. Instead of focusing only on the bare bones of estate planning, we focus on creating a comprehensive estate plan that allows our clients to provide for multiple generations of loved ones.

Protecting Your Wealth for Generations

We have seen many families lose their wealth and assets after the first generation inherits the assets. In some cases, the children will spend too much money or not manage their wealth well. In other cases, costs associated with bankruptcy or divorce take up a significant portion of the children's wealth. The loss of family legacies can be devastating. If you plan on giving your children or grandchildren your wealth, taking the time to engage in legacy wealth planning can help you protect your assets and your legacy.

In legacy wealth planning, you can examine your financial and non-financial goals for your family’s future. In addition to simply focusing on transferring assets, legacy wealth planning also focuses on promoting the values you would like to leave behind linked with your legacy. We offer our clients legacy wealth plans tailored to their unique values and situations. Our clients maximize the positive emotional impact on generations of their family while retaining their valuable assets and keeping their legacy alive through future generations.

Legacy Planning Addresses Real-Life Issues Families Face

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we understand that modern families face unique challenges that can negatively affect their ability to transfer wealth. We will consider all of the issues your family could face to protect your assets and consider your goals for how you would like your legacy to look. For example, any of the following circumstances could jeopardize your legacy:

  • How to pass on your personal heirlooms and valuable personal property safely
  • How to financially survive a long-term nursing home stay when one or both spouses become disabled
  • Protecting your family’s wealth when your children or grandchildren go through a re-marriage, divorce, bankruptcy, lawsuit, or other financially draining life-change
  • A surviving spouse is sued, remarries, or has a problem with debt or creditors
  • How to manage assets when you have a fiscally irresponsible child
Protecting Family Business and Asset Inheritance

Family-owned businesses account for a majority of businesses in the United States. 62% of the U.S. workforce works for a family business. Family businesses create 78% of all new U.S. jobs. Unfortunately, only 30% of family-owned businesses make it to the second generation, and only 12% survive into the third generation. If you own a family-owned business, you might be concerned that your business will not survive if you become incapacitated or if you pass away.

An important part of maintaining a family-owned business is ensuring that it can survive without you. We understand how difficult it can be to think about your business running without you there. After all, family business owners often work long hours to ensure their business runs smoothly and are deeply involved in managing their companies. The lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, can help you protect your business assets by developing a succession plan. We can help you figure out what will happen should you become incapacitated and help you to appoint someone to manage your company in case of an emergency. We can also help you develop a plan for passing down your business to the next generation.

In some cases, our clients benefit from changing the legal structure of your business. For example, if you are operating your business as a sole proprietorship, your personal assets are not well protected. You could create a limited partnership with your family members or an LLC. Doing so will allow you to protect your personal assets if a customer brings a lawsuit against your company. When it is not possible to separate your personal assets from your company assets, we can help you purchase a life insurance plan and protect the proceeds with a specialized trust.

Contact a Charlotte Legacy Planning Lawyer Today

Whether you are a business owner who would like to pass down your business to the next generation, or you have substantial assets and are interested in legacy planning, our lawyers can help. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your initial consultation at our Charlotte, Mooresville, or Monroe offices.