AARP’s recent article entitled “Remarried with Children? 5 Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid” says that most mean well and want their spouse to inherit their possessions when they die, then want their heirs to split what's left when the spouse dies. Here are five mistakes to avoid and to prevent fighting and hard feelings after you are gone.
Mistake #1: Failing to change beneficiaries. This is one of the most common mistakes. An advantage of changing the name of the beneficiary, is that the money will go directly to the intended person, typically the surviving spouse, bypassing the probate process. Review all of your financial accounts to be certain that your spouse is designated the beneficiary, if that is your intention. You should also check all life insurance beneficiaries because these payouts also do not go through probate.
Mistake #2: Failing to change your will. A will states who gets the rest of the assets that you and your spouse accumulated during your lifetimes. Update your will to avoid handing your home to your ex-spouse. People on their second marriage usually decide that the surviving spouse gets all the assets, and upon the death of the second spouse, the remaining assets will be divided evenly among the children. However, this assumes that everyone will still be getting along in the future, and that your spouse, upon your death, will not write a new will that removes your side of the family from the estate. You should also plan in advance who will get important family items, no matter if their value is sentimental or otherwise. You do this with a codicil to your will or a letter of instruction to your executor.
Mistake #3: Treating all heirs equally. There is no law that says all children must be treated equally. There are many reasons why parents do not treat children equally, such as when there is a child with special needs. In that instance, you should talk to your spouse about how to ensure that child is protected, perhaps through an ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) account or a trust. In some situations, a child may have an addiction or a gambling problem. Some parents will create a “spendthrift trust” which disburses money at regular intervals to the beneficiary and deters creditors from getting the money in the trust.
Mistake #4: Waiting until you are gone to give. If you are planning to leave money to your children, you might think about giving it to them now, rather than in your will. The IRS allows you to give up to $15,000 per person without having to pay the federal gift tax or deal with the IRS. Your spouse may also give the same amount.
Mistake #5: Not Using an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney. If you are older and on your second marriage, chances are that your life is not uncomplicated. Ex-spouses, blended families and comingled assets create complexity, as well as having a child with special needs or an aging parent. It is smart to invest the time and money in creating a comprehensive estate plan with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney.
Edmond de Rothschild Holding SA described Benjamin as a “visionary entrepreneur, passionate about finance, speed, sailing and automobiles.” He died recently at 57 of a heart attack, according to Wealth Advisor’s recent article entitled “Billionaire Benjamin De Rothschild, Heir To Storied Banking Fortune, Dies At 57.”
A member of one of Europe’s most famous banking families, Benjamin de Rothschild inherited a branch of the family bank that concentrated in private wealth management. The Edmond de Rothschild group, founded in 1953 by Edmon Adolphe de Rothschild, manages more than $190 billion in assets and employs 2,600 people in 32 locations around the world. Forbes estimates that Benjamin was worth about $1.4 billion at the time of his death, with his ownership of Edmond de Rothschild Holding SA accounting for most of his fortune.
Benjamin is survived by four daughters — Alice, Eve, Olivia, Naomi — and his widow, Ariane, who has run the Rothschild Group with him for several years.
Benjamin was a descendent of James de Rothschild, the founder of the French branch of the Rothschild family and one of five brothers who were sent across Europe by founding father, Mayer Amschel in the early 1800s. In 1953, Edmond Adolphe de Rothschild, the great-grandson of James de Rothschild, formed the branch of the bank is called Edmond de Rothschild. This branch of the bank is very different from the more famous Rothschild & Co that is best known for its part in drafting the rulebook for the international bond market before WWI.
Benjamin De Rothschild had been in control of the banking concern created by his father since 1997 and worked to simplify its structure after delisting.
As of the end of 2019, Edmond de Rothschild Holding SA had $194 billion in assets with activities in 15 countries.
In 2018, after battling another branch of the family over the use of the family name, the two factions announced they’d reached an agreement on the use of their respective brands, after litigation in 2015 from Benjamin concerning the Rothschild name in private banking.
Since 2015, Edmond de Rothschild has been run by Ariane, Benjamin’s wife. This was a decisive turn from the last will and testament of founder Mayer Amschel. He wrote famously in 1812 that the Rothschild business should pass between male heirs and “belong to my sons exclusively.”
The banker donated generously to Israel, including $22 million for the country’s effort to combat the coronavirus.
Reference: Wealth Advisor (Jan. 26, 2021) “Billionaire Benjamin De Rothschild, Heir To Storied Banking Fortune, Dies At 57”