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The Kennedys: Examples of winning estate administration

Most Texas residents are interested in leaving some type of legacy for children or heirs. Though many individuals likely don't think of estate administration on a daily basis, it's important to plan ahead if you want to leave heirs financially sound. Estate planning isn't only for the wealthy. Planning ahead lets you choose how to distribute assets, but it also protects heirs from taxes or creditors.

For an example of winning estate strategy, you can't beat the Kennedy family. Obviously, the family has left a rich legacy of history for heirs and for all Americans. From ambassadors, senators and a president to businessmen and philanthropists, the Kennedy line includes a number of remarkable people.

According to reports, the remarkable Kennedy financial fortune began with Joseph P. Kennedy. After building wealth in the markets, Joseph P. Kennedy went on to chair the Securities and Exchange Commissions. In 1927, Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises was opened; today, the company manages dozens of trusts that protect familial wealth from taxes and other issues.

Estimates are that the total Kennedy fortune is worth around $1 billion today. Caroline Kennedy's wealth is estimated at around $175 million, and other heirs -- including individuals with names such as Smith, Lawford and Shriver -- hold assets worth tens of millions.

Not every family has this type of wealth to protect or pass on, but that doesn't make estate administration unnecessary. Any assets in a will could go through probate following a person's death, and planning ahead for strong administration through wills and trusts keeps you in control of your personal wealth and lets you decide how you want loved ones to benefit from it.

Source: Source: Forbes, "How the $1 Billion Kennedy Family Fortune Defies Death and Taxes," Carl O'Donnell, July 8, 2014

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