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What you can do to make the transfer of assets a smooth one for your loved ones

Posted at 5:43 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 17:43:52-04

We all love our families and taking care of them financially is one way to show that love. A new study confirmed that nearly eight out of ten people intend to leave some of their wealth and assets to their families after they die. But the process can be very tricky. Marcy Keckler, senior vice president of financial advice strategy and marketing at Ameriprise Financial has some advice.

Marcy says, one of the things most people want is to have good relationships among the next generation and they have concerns about the potential causes of disagreement or tensions; in particular we see there can be concern if someone is intending to leave inheritance in ways they think are fair but not necessarily equal. She says although most people in their study who wanted to leave an inheritance intended to leave it fairly equally to the next generation, there are situations where about 16% of the people who said I might do that a little unequally; they may be taking into account different financial situations. She says, say if you’ve got a couple of adult children who have pretty different earning potential or pretty different financial situations, you may have an allocation that you think is fair even if it isn’t equal. Marcy says communicating that rationale to people can help the next generation to understand and be set up to have more harmony as they move forward together. Even if there are things that may feel a little sticky, I do encourage people to have those open lines of communications

Emily says one thing that can be pretty tricky is real estate. What do we need to know about transferring those assets? Marcy says passing down real estate is something that people wish to do or intend to do. She says from our study people who are already inherited real estate say sometimes it does not go smoothly and they have some advice, some tips we can all learn from. Number one is to have a detailed plan in place in advance, Number two, she says, make sure you involve the correct professionals including an estate planning attorney, but also a tax professional and a financial advisor can also help particularly so you are doing all you can to minimize the impact of taxes on the gifts you are going to be giving. Marcy says, last but not least share details on the property you are going to be giving like when was the roof last replaced, where the deed is, and iIf it is a vacation home does somebody else get involved with the maintenance that you need to be able to contact. Marcy says those are all the logistical details that can be really helpful to the next generation, if they have been documented and shared ideally in advance and those are all tips to make the transition of real estate to the next generation go a lot more smoother.

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