Estate planning can be approached in a couple of different ways. You can require direct, lump sum inheritances without regard to differences in beneficiaries’ situations. The other approach would be a laser-focused plan that is built to suit each member of the family.
There are many ways to get assets from point A to point B. The ideal method will vary depending on the situation. If you discuss the possibilities with one of our attorneys, we can gain an understanding of your family dynamic and make the appropriate recommendations.
With this in mind, we will look at a couple of the different options that are available to you when you are planning your estate.
Providing For a Spendthrift Heir
Some people are just not very good at handling money, and their worst instincts take over when they have a lot of it. This can definitely be a cause for concern if you have someone like this on your inheritance list.
A relatively simple way to address this situation would be to make the person the beneficiary of a living trust. While you are alive, you can act as the trustee and the beneficiary, and you would have total access to the resources.
To give you an understanding of your freedom, in a very real sense, nothing would change. You would have the same exact access to your property that you had all along.
A successor trustee that you name in the document would take over after your death, and the trust would become irrevocable. The trustee would manage the trust, and the beneficiary and the trustee would be bound by the terms that you record when you execute the trust agreement.
The trust would include spendthrift provisions that would shield the principal from the beneficiary’s creditors. You could leave instructions for the trustee with regard to the amount and the frequency of the distributions.
This is one very simple way to proceed, but you would have the ability to spell out any type of distribution schedule that makes sense to you.
Some situations are nuanced, and they can be best addressed through the use of advanced techniques. This can enter the picture if you are getting remarried and you want to protect the inheritances that you will be leaving to your children.
For example, let’s say you have done very well financially, and you have been divorced for a number of years. Your children are adults, and you and your significant other decide to get married.
You are quite a bit older so it is likely that you will predecease your new spouse. How do you make sure that your spouse will be well provided for while you simultaneously protect your legacy for the benefit of your children?
This can be done through the use of a qualified terminable interest property trust.
Your spouse would be the first beneficiary, and your children would be the final beneficiaries. If you die first, the trustee would distribute the earnings from the trust to your surviving spouse throughout his or her life.
The beneficiary would also be able to use property that is owned by the trust. After the death of the first beneficiary, your children would become the beneficiaries.
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These are just two of many different situations that can call for targeted estate planning solutions. Regardless of your specific set of concerns, there are options for you.
Our doors are open if you are ready to take the next step. You can set up a consultation at our Charlotte, North Carolina or Huntersville, North Carolina office if you call us at 704-944-3245. Our Ashland, Kentucky location can be reached at 606-324-5516, and our Florence, Kentucky location can be reached at 859-372-6655. You can also use our contact page if you would like to send us a message.