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Wills and trusts can help designate where your money goes

Many people hope to leave something to their children after they die. However, a group of the wealthiest people in the world has chosen not to leave much to their children. The millionaires and billionaires aren't necessarily doing this to neglect their children of a vast fortune, but to teach them lessons on making their own way in life. Whatever a person decides to do with their money after they pass away is their decision, as long as they plan accordingly.

Many people neglect to plan their estates. If that happens and the person passes away, it is likely that a court will become involved in order to determine who gets what. The process of going through a court to distribute assets, which might be distributed in a way the person who died doesn't approve of, can be avoided by establishing wills and trusts.

These two estate planning devices can work together to make sure money is distributed where the original owner wants it to go. People might choose to distribute some of their assets to a charity of their choice, and some of it to their children. Others might wish to allocate different amounts to different children or different combinations of assets and money to different people.

Wills and trusts can help a person achieve their planning goals. Speaking with an experienced estate planning attorney can help ensure that all the proper legal documents are in place to help fulfill a person's wishes and prevent complicated legal battles after a person passes away.

Source: Slate, "10 Rich Dads Who Don't Think Their Kids Deserve Their Money," Heather Murphy, June 16, 2012

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