Avi Z. Kestenbaum, co-chair of Meltzer Lippe’s Trusts & Estates Department, and associate Amy F. Altman, pose a series of important high-level questions for trusts and estates practitioners in this article from Trusts & Estates magazine. They write: “What if by maximizing the transfer of wealth, we aren’t improving, but instead are diminishing the life courses of clients and their heirs, as well as deteriorating society in the process?”
What follows is a thought-provoking examination of the motivations of clients and beneficiaries, along with the potential social costs of large wealth transfers that fail to instill the motivation and confidence required to properly function in society. Among the important concepts discussed in this article are “Dead Hand Control,” Incentive Trusts, Ethical Wills and Mission Statements, and lessons for future generations.
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