By Tony Davis, Esq.,
Special at AFRO

We certainly live in exciting times. Achieving wealth for ourselves and our families is no longer seen as an unattainable dream. Many people progress in their careers, become entrepreneurs and create multiple sources of income. This translates to incredible financial wealth, regardless of age or formal education. Now the question becomes, how do i keep wealth once i have achieved it?

The answer is good estate planning, which I prefer to call Family life and estate planning. Getting a proper plan in place is often delayed due to many misconceptions like thinking you have to be old or rich to start planning. Often people avoid estate planning altogether because they think it focuses exclusively on death.

Regardless of these misconceptions, the reality is that everyone already has an estate plan, as every state in the country has a default plan in place for their residents. Now ask yourself:

  • Who do you want to decide what will happen to your assets when you die? You or the state you live in?
  • Who do you want to determine what will happen to your property or your children if you become incapacitated? You or the state you live in?

Let’s look at a plan gone wrong. When singer Aretha Franklin died, it was first thought she had no will. Next, she was thought to have as many as four wills outlining who would inherit her wealth. This lack of structured planning led his family members to fight over his possessions. To make matters worse, although she wants to keep her private affairs private, people like me (and you) may have known about family feuds, secrets and tax issues. Singers Prince and Bob Marley made the same mistake. And no, you don’t have to be a celebrity to have your business publicized. All state plans and processes are public information, where anyone can view your assets.

Conversely, here is an example of what happens when a plan goes well. When NBA legend Kobe Bryant died, although there were leaks that he was not updating his plan, all of his documents were kept confidential and his assets were not tied to court. As a result, Kobe’s plan was carried out according to his wishes and the process went smoothly for his family.

Estate planning is essential to avoid the challenges that can arise after the death of a loved one. (Courtesy picture)

To have private results like Mr. Bryant for your own family, you will need to take matters into your own hands by working with a caring professional and properly structuring your own plan.

A comprehensive estate plan will contain four essential elements:

  • Asset Protection
  • Tax protection
  • Entity Structuring (if applicable)
  • Wealth planning for your loved ones

At Davis Family Legal Group, we help families establish a proper estate plan and ensure that it is executed exactly as planned. We will partner with you and together we will determine the right options for you and your loved ones based on your assets and family situation.

If you would like to schedule an initial consultation, visit www.davisfamilylegalgroup.com or contact us at (410) 654-3309. Together, let’s develop a plan that will benefit you, your family and future generations.

Tony Davis is the founding partner of Davis Family Legal Group LLP, helping families be happy and whole through family services and estate planning.

Facebook: @davisfamilylegalgroup

Instagram: @davisfamilylegalgroup

Twitter: @dflg_llp

Email: [email protected]

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