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Consider what happens after distribution when estate planning

Taking care of family members beyond death is crucial to many Pennsylvania residents. This often comes through in estate planning as people leave instructions for how their assets are to be distributed to those they love. The primary goal of any estate plan is often to make sure that the person creating it retains control over who receives what upon death.

However, making sure that a particular loved one receives the intended inheritance may just be the first step. What happens after he or she receives it? How do you protect their inheritance from creditors, ex-spouses or others? These additional questions may require consideration during estate planning efforts.

Trusts can help protect an inheritance on behalf of a beneficiary. Instead of receiving the entire thing at one time, smaller distributions could be made on a periodic basis while preserving the assets in the trust. Since the beneficiary does not own the assets outright after a Pennsylvania resident's death, the assets remain safe from those who would somehow try to stake a claim to them. An additional benefit to using trusts is that it could also protect the assets from the beneficiary. The fact is that not everyone is good with money or at managing assets and may require help.

Determining the best way to provide for loved ones after death may involve more estate planning than one first perceives. It may be advantageous to sit down with an attorney who can review a particular family's situation and provide the appropriate options for the circumstances. Once the process is complete, the individual and his or her family members may have peace of mind that the proper measures are in place.

Source: wtop.com, "Estate planning: How to keep your money in your family", Sarah Beth Hensley, March 28, 2018

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