Great review of basic considerations before finalizing your estate plan.
“Who should receive my property?” asked Helen to her attorney, Clara. “There are so many decisions to make. Since Morgan passed away, I need to make these decisions myself. Should I give property to the children outright or in trust? Is there a best age for them to receive the property? And what if one of them were to pass away before I do? The grandchildren are still too young to manage property. I also have made a loan to one of the children. Should I forgive that loan? And what about my dog Rover? Who will take care of Rover?” Continue reading
Trusts can be quite useful for protecting children. However, for some children, the trust serves an additional function: It protects the principal from being rapidly spent by a child. These trusts have a specific name—they are called “spendthrift” trusts. Marla was visiting with her attorney Elizabeth shortly after her husband Harry passed away. She shared her concern for her youngest child, Joe. Marla: “Harry and I were very fortunate to have four great children. I love each one of them very much. However, when it comes time to making decisions about inheritance, I have a big problem. Our older children Sam and Linda are quite good with financial matters. The third child Lynn is average, but our youngest son Joe is very carefree. If Joe has money, it is gone in a flash. What can I do?” Elizabeth: “This is a fairly common situation. Many parents would like to treat their children equally, but some children are very good managers and one or two are not. In your case, we hope that Joe eventually learns to become more responsible. But for the present plan, it makes good sense to provide Joe with spendthrift trust provisions.” Continue reading