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Spotlight on wealthy families, advanced age and asset transfer

If a wealth creator in your family is duly considering strategies for effectively passing along assets to future generations, that's his or her business, right?

What if that would-be benefactor is already more than 100 years old, though, with no viable estate plan having ever been discussed with younger family members or, apparently, a proven estate administration attorney?

Concededly, the list of centenarians in Ohio and across the United States is steadily being added to and, as one recent focus on advanced age and wealth transfer notes, its implications for a growing number of families -- especially families with outsized wealth -- are material.

Is it at all problematic if a family head is well over 100 and hasn't yet made any firm determinations on the ultimate disposition of an amassed fortune?

It well could be, of course, especially if health begins to fail, mental frailty becomes evident and/or the potential for becoming victimized by fraud or other third-party exploitation has grown seemingly more apparent.

In such cases, and absent a well-considered and timely effected plan that is known to family members, a post-mortem asset transfer can easily spell a slippery slope.

A Forbes article on the subject notes that failure to be proactive in such an important matter can ultimately breed "disastrous family confrontations," as well as "lawsuits and assets strangely disappearing."

How can such dire potentialities be avoided?

The answer is fairly straightforward and obvious, of course. Duly planning for the future at a time when the ability to still engage proactively and smartly with the process is apparent is the best antidote to family misunderstandings and unintended results down the road.

An experienced estate administration attorney routinely helps individuals and families craft thoughtful and effective plans that consider and implement strategies to fully promote affected parties' best interests in the future.

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