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Careful estate planning can help promote children's success

Money cannot buy happiness is a phrase often heard. Families of considerable wealth in Washington often have concerns regarding the inheritance of their sizable estates. If children of such families have no concern for their financial future, it is thought that they may also lack a desire to succeed and become fulfilled and accomplished adults in their own rights. Careful estate planning can address this issue.

One of America's wealthiest women, Gloria Vanderbilt, recently passed away at the age of 95. Her son, Anderson Cooper, is an accomplished journalist, author and CNN correspondent. He has three brothers, one of whom died in 1988. Growing up, he believed there was no trust fund and that he needed to make his own way in the world. He has said that had he known that he would one day inherit, he may not have been as driven to succeed.

Upon his mother's death, it was revealed that one brother inherited his mother's Manhattan apartment and that a sizable amount of the estate will indeed go to Anderson. There may be other beneficiaries designated in trusts or insurance documents that are private and so not subject to public probate. Anderson Cooper grew up to be a successful, respected and admired member of society. This may be the greatest legacy any parent can leave a child.

Having the ability to bequeath a sizable sum to one's family can provide a feeling of accomplishment and pride in being able to provide for the next generation. Seeing one's children succeed in life is an even greater reward. It is possible to accomplish both of these goals through careful estate planning in Washington.

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