Some Ohio residents who are creating an estate plan might want to think about how they will separate their legacy from what they hope to leave to their children and spouse. Some people may assume that creating an estate plan that allows their beneficiaries to benefit from their legacy also means putting their beneficiaries in control of it. However, this does not have to be the case.
Family members may lack the expertise to run a business or manage complex assets. Better choices for these roles might be key employees within the company and professionals. It is important to keep in mind that the best people to run the business might not be the right ones to manage assets on behalf of family members and to make distributions to them. It may be necessary to keep all of these roles separate.
One man did not consider this when he sold the business he had built into a huge and profitable enterprise that was originally started by his father. The man did so because he was afraid that leaving it with his family would upset their already fragile and troubled dynamic. However, even though he sold the company for more than $50 million, he may have let his legacy go unnecessarily. Others could have been chosen to run the company while his family still benefited.
An attorney may be able to assist a person in creating an estate plan that takes all of these elements into consideration. A trust can be one way to set aside assets that a family member can benefit from without managing them. Distributions could be at the trustee's discretion or on a timeline specified by the creator of the trust. Trusts can even be set up to donate to charity as part of a person's legacy while also providing money to beneficiaries.