Planning for Inheritance: Ensuring Your Wealth Goes Where You Want

Jeff Green |

As a financial advisor, one of the most important conversations I have with clients is about planning for who should inherit their hard-earned wealth. It’s a deeply personal decision that requires careful consideration, especially for those with significant assets. 

Whether you want to pass your wealth to your children, other relatives, charities or even friends, the key is to make your wishes clear and legally binding. Here’s a guide to help you navigate this critical component of financial planning.

What to Consider

Personal Desires and Values

Reflect on your values and what you want your legacy to be. It’s perfectly okay if you decide not to leave your wealth to your children. Some individuals prefer to support charitable causes, educational institutions or other family members instead.

Financial Needs of Beneficiaries

Consider the financial needs and responsibilities of your potential beneficiaries. This includes evaluating whether your children or other heirs are financially responsible or if they might benefit more from trusts or other managed distributions.

Fairness & Family Dynamics

Strive to understand the dynamics and potential conflicts within your family. Equal distribution might not always mean fair distribution, and it’s important to weigh what would be most beneficial and harmonious for those involved.

Types of Professionals to Consult

Estate Planning Attorney

An estate planning attorney is essential for drafting your will, trusts and any other legal documents that detail your wishes. They can help create an estate plan that complies with current laws and effectively minimize taxes and legal challenges.

Financial Advisor

A financial advisor helps align your estate planning with your overall financial strategy. They can assist in structuring your assets in a way that maximizes their value and facilitates a smooth transition to your named beneficiaries.

Tax Professional

Tax implications are a major consideration in estate planning. A tax professional such as a CPA can help you navigate federal and state estate taxes, striving to help your heirs retain as much of your wealth as possible.

Trust Officer

Trusts can provide more control over how and when your beneficiaries receive their inheritance. If you decide to set up a trust, a trust officer can manage it according to your instructions.

Communicating Your Wishes

Family Meetings

Open communication with your family can help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts after your passing. Discussing your plans allows the opportunity for everyone to understand your decisions and hopefully reduce potential disputes.

Clear Legal Documents

Confirm that all your legal documents are explicit and unambiguous. This includes your will, trusts, powers of attorney and any other relevant paperwork.

Letter of Intent

Consider writing a letter of intent to accompany your will. While not legally binding, this document explains your wishes and provides guidance to your executors and beneficiaries.

Professional Guidance

Involving your financial advisor or attorney in these discussions can provide clarity and authority, making it clear that your decisions are well-considered and legally sound.

The Importance of Planning Now

Avoiding State Intervention

Without a clear estate plan, state laws will determine how your assets are distributed, which may not align with your wishes. This process, known as intestate succession, can be lengthy, costly and stressful for your loved ones.

Preserving Wealth

Proper planning helps preserve your wealth through tax-efficient strategies and careful management of your assets. It safeguards your legacy and benefits those you intend it to.

Maintaining Privacy

A well-structured estate plan aims to keep your financial affairs private, avoiding the public process of probate where your assets and their distribution become a matter of public record.

Peace & Confidence

Knowing that you have a clear, legally sound plan for your estate provides a sense of confidence and peace for you and your loved ones. It honors your wishes and reduces the burden on your family during a difficult time.

Start Planning for Inheritance Today 

Planning for who should inherit your wealth is a particularly vital part of financial planning for the affluent. By considering your personal desires, consulting with the right professionals and communicating your wishes clearly, you can feel confident that your wealth is distributed according to your wishes and that your legacy is preserved.

When you partner with Green Financial Group, our thorough analysis of your resources, circumstances and needs is the basis for a customized plan that addresses your most important goals and concerns.

Don’t wait until it’s too late—start planning today to shield your assets and provide for those you care about most. To schedule a complimentary 15-minute financial or retirement consultation with me, please call (713) 244-3030 or email

About Jeff

Jeff Green is a Financial Advisor and Founder of Green Financial Group, a wealth management firm and virtual family office located in the Galleria area of Houston, Texas, offering big-firm skills with a personal approach. In the financial industry since 1997, Jeff’s desire to put clients first and take care of them like family led him to launch his local independent practice in 2008. Green Financial Group exists to simplify each client’s financial world and provide comprehensive financial plans to help them enjoy the life they’ve worked hard for. Seeing the positive, sometimes truly life-changing, impact that smart, straightforward financial planning and investing can make in clients’ lives is the greatest reward of his job.

Jeff has a business degree in entrepreneurship from University of Houston. Prior to establishing Green Financial Group, he spent more than a decade at two major investment firms, where he crafted a wide variety of equity trading strategies and investment models for his clients. He thrives off helping to simplify his clients’ complex financial worlds so they can enjoy their golden years without worry. When he’s not solving clients’ financial problems, he enjoys spending time with his three sons, Vincent, Antonino and Gianni, and his rescue dogs, Abby and Sadie. He can also be found working out, hunting, fishing, cooking (he loves to fire up the grill!) or following his beloved UT Longhorns, UH Cougars or Houston Astros. To learn more about Jeff, connect with him on LinkedIn.

Please note: Any opinions are those of Jeff Green and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.