Saturday, September 5, 2015

Good luck on those scratch offs.....

        Imagine you have considerable assets. Maybe not Trump-esk riches, but maybe "your ship came in". You have a considerable nest egg that you've acquired through good business sense, smart money management or maybe a small budding business that saw some success. Your stock portfolio isn't to shabby either. Now like all smart investors you need to protect your money both in life and after you have gone on to that great hedge fund in the sky want that legacy to continue. You will, of course, need a well planned and executed last will and testament. You have a large close knit family and you know them pretty well. You need to divvy your assets out fairly ...but wisely. You don't want your legacy squandered do you? Where is your money going to go? You have total control over where and to whom. So you sit down and think about all the family members and who should get what and how much. You weigh the statistics you study the demographics so to speak.

      We all have those family members that are unique and quirky. Many families are the same in this respect regardless of their geographic local or financial status, race or creed. The degree to which may vary but they are the same. In fact as your read this you'll unconsciously assign someone from your family to each description. 
     Some are well off some are not. We all have that set of cousins that were smart enough, or lucky enough or what have you, to get into college and get a degree. They became doctors, lawyers or maybe the proverbial Indian Chief (ie: the CEO of What-not Inc.) No disrespect to our Native American brothers and sisters. On a side note this post is not meant to offend anyone be it racial, cultural, social or financial status I'm just making a point to which will be apparent at the end of the blog....I'm sure to be called racist though, it's 2015 after all and I'm white...but I digress. 
     Ok the smart cousins with the degree...they probably have smart parents who can manage their own finances hence the college tuition and example they set. We have that uncle who started an online company or maybe started a small business from his garage that took off and now he has a few locations in the tri-state area. We have the brother who is "stingy" with his money and what little he parts with is parted with wisely. We have that family member who, though they don't have much to brag about , they get by and they are smart with what they do have ...and they work hard for it. You may have many family members that fit that bill as there are no shortage of them in my family. 

Then we have the cousins that are not so great with their money and certainly not well off by any definition of the term. They spend frivolously and impulsively on the many "Velvet Elvis" articles that are generally worthless. You know the ones...with a $4000 rims on a $500 car. We have the uncle who always has a scheme to make money or some scam in the works. They're the butt of the old joke, "If you're sick of uncle Scammer hanging around just lend him some money and he disappears". There's the uncle who spends a little to much time at the track. There's the aunt that spends to much time at the casino...and both may spend to much time at the liquor store. Then there's the cousin that likes to party to much, drink to much, do drugs to much or get arrested to much. You know where their extra money goes. Maybe they live in a trailer park, ghetto or "the bad part of town" which ever it is you know who they I'm referring to. Unfortunately some of those hard working but getting by family members may be the same area of's a cruel world out there.
       So that probably covers it, you've assigned names and faces I'm sure. Maybe you even have some examples I left out but you get the gist of it. Now you need to decide who gets what. It's a tough choice because you want to be fair. You don't want snickering about you at the reading of the will. These are the people you love after all. The reality is that giving a significant amount of money to cousin druggy or uncle scammer is most likely going to do more harm than good. You would be, by all intents and purposes, giving them a golden shovel in which to dig themselves a deeper hole. They would just buy illicit consumables with the money and your impressive portfolio....yikes! The same goes for Uncle OTB and Aunt Penny Slots. Ya but giving money to well off cousins? Maybe Uncle Dot-com? He certainly knows how to invest wisely and the cousins could pay off their student loans. Brother Stingy, Dr. Cousin, and Cousin and Cousin Inc. LLC are odd choices too, because it seems odd to bequeath money to those who have plenty of it. You are certainly going to be snickered at now. "Money goes to money", some will say. But at least you know it will be managed wisely. Your legacy will live on in some way or form. They will most likely spend the money locally, maybe pay off the house, the car, or
college tuition, a local contractor or department store maybe. They may re-invest the money and certainly they will expand your precious portfolio. They may take that small budding business and incorporate it or expand it to a few new locations. You'd love to give it all to the hard working, just getting by cousins too, but they live in a high crime area and would most likely be preyed upon.
   It's the hard decision to make, it may seem unfair, but no one will tell you it's not the smartest choice. After all you can';t give all your money to thieves, scammers, and drunks....or drug and gambling addicts...right? You know where the money will end up...squandered. So you make the tough but wise decision and you leave the larger portions to those who will put it to good use. The ones that will not tarnish the legacy you worked so hard to create. You'll give some to the others to seem fair but not enough to hurt themselves.
    We can all agree that this is the best decision right? The wisest decision? Of course it is. Now imagine that your family is New York state and you are the NY Lottery charge of which stores in which towns those winning tickets go to. 

 Good luck on those scratch offs.....

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