Estate planning is one of the more important tasks undertaken by residents of Wisconsin. A key consideration is the manner in which your designated adult beneficiaries will receive the assets intended for them.
There are three frequently used methods through which adult beneficiaries can be paid their inheritances:
- Leave property outright to beneficiaries
- Leave assets to beneficiaries in stages
- Leave assets to beneficiaries in a discretionary trust
Leave property outright to beneficiaries
When it comes to estate planning, giving assets to intended beneficiaries in one lump sum via a last will and testament usually is the simplest course to take. Although this likely is the easiest course to take, there are also drawbacks. For example, an heir might be a spendthrift and go through inherited assets in an inordinately short period of time.
Leave assets to beneficiaries in stages
Although a more complicated course, you can also elect to leave assets to heirs or beneficiaries in stages through the use of a trust. You can consider having assets vest with intended beneficiaries as the reach certain milestones. For example, they might receive payments from your estate upon reaching a certain age or graduating from school.
Leave assets to beneficiaries in a discretionary trust
Finally, if you want even a greater level of control over distribution of your assets to beneficiaries, you can establish a trust in which the trustee will determine more precisely when and how assets are distributed. The trustee will have some discretion to act within the general parameters you establish and that are set forth specifically in the document.