A properly drafted trust can be an extremely effective way for you to help set your children up for success. In fact, trust can allow parents to help their children in a way that a Will cannot. This can be especially true when children are dealing with serious challenges. The following experience with a widowed client is a stark example.
When we met for her estate planning, she was terribly worried that her estate plan would hurt — rather than help — one of her two children. That child struggled with a serious addiction to drugs. A Will would allow her to pass on part of her estate to this child, but it would be powerless to control what he did with the money after he received it. Obviously, she was concerned that her estate might be used to feed his drug addiction. She did not want to “disinherit” him (leave him nothing). She wanted to help him.
She asked if there was a way after she passed, she could ensure the money was used for his benefit and not for his addiction. The answer was yes.
Instead of using a Will, we created a trust. The trust provided that, on her death, this child’s share of the estate was to remain in his mother’s trust. Someone his mother designated (and trusted) was then instructed to pay her son’s (appropriate) expenses directly. The money would not go directly to him but still had to be used for his benefit. For example, help with his rent, utilities, etc. could be paid directly to the landlord or utility company. This same method could be used whatever the expense might be, rather than turn money over to the son. The trust allowed my client to maintain control over how her money was used, even after her passing.
You can imagine the peace of mind this opportunity brought to her. Even if not as serious as a drug addiction, are there challenges in your life or the life of your children in which a trust could help?
Come to a free, no obligation presentation and learn for yourself how simple it can be to ensure you have an estate plan that accomplishes your wishes, even if there are challenges in your life or the life of your children that might seem to interfere.