Absolutely. Don’t let your estate become public knowledge. Use trust based and other private planning to keep the financial information out of the public record.
Companies are out there who do nothing but search for people inheriting large sums of money. They do this by looking through the public probate records.
How can I keep my children from squandering the money?
Leo’s parents passed after a car accident when he was 18 years old. Leo really did not have a lot of life experience managing money. However, his parents had a $1,000,000 life insurance policy that he was the beneficiary of. Leo took a lot of trips (first class of course), bought gifts for his friends, bought a sports car, etc. At the end of two years Leo had a used sports car, no education, and the start of a large debt load.
If you think that sounds out of the ordinary, the average for a lawsuit settlement is 2.5 years until spent. This is regardless of the size of the settlement. Why should an inheritance be any different?
The answer is to put the money into a trust that guides how the money is to be spent until a person matures and has more experience in managing money. One of the author’s favorites is to pay children an allowance and for education until they reach a more mature age.
How do I protect my children from…?
Finish a complete estate plan.
By making a plan, you will be protecting your children from not only the system, but from themselves. Young people who come into money tend to spend it very quickly.
If something were to happen to both parents, and proper planning has not been done, their future is 100% up to a judge in court. They could end up with an undesirable relative, or worse, be placed in the foster care system if nobody steps up.
Without proper guardian nominations, you children could still end up in the foster care system temporarily.
How do I pick legal guardians for my children?
Consider your values and philosophies. It is important to pick a guardian that shares your beliefs.
You need to look at the practical side of it too. Will they be young enough to keep up with your children? Do they live close enough to be there within 30 minutes?