I've been exploring the process of Trust and how they can influence family members such as grandchildren and beyond to become and remain successful. Are there ways to place requirements and roadblocks in a trust to make the transfer of trustee responsibility only allowed once someone achieves certain educational goals or age.
My Parents are over 70 with retirements, IRA, Life, separate Homes and I've already began telling them I don't want to have or experience a fight in probate because they have or believe in a weak will. I'd rather them construct or establish something that passes on their wishes beyond the DNA in their grandchildren. Reasonable goals obtain a 4 year college education to maintain the trust, when a child is born immediately purchase Life Insurance Whole Life via a family trust.
Yes, trusts can be designed to impose certain character and moral fitness requirements on beneficiaries, as defined by the settlor in the trust instrument (I do this routinely with my own estate planning clients). As to the other aspects of your posting, it appears that a family trust might be the most attractive option to your parents, but as Attorneys Abraham and Wilson noted, it would take an in-depth consultation with an experienced estate planning lawyer to arrive at the best arrangement for your parents' short-term and long-term concerns alike. During the consultation, your parents should also discuss executing or updating general and healthcare powers of attorney in addition to dispositive instruments like wills and trusts. Although it appears that your parents have already well utilized non-probate transfer mechanisms like life insurance and bank account beneficiary designations, it would be helpful to talk about other non-probate strategies as well, which might or might not include life estate deeds to real property. All the best to you and your family this fall.
There are different estate planning techniques that can be employeed here. With high wealth families there is no one size fits all. Your parents need to employ an experienced estate estate planning attorney who will obain all of the facts and educate them as to the benefits and detriments of each technique that can be used, ascertain their goals etc
I agree with Mr. Abraham. There are multiple estate planning techniques that would help meet the needs and goals of your parents. You parents should retain the services of an estate planning attorney who will listen to their goals and help them tailor a comprehensive plan that meets all of their estate planning goals. If you are not familiar with one, you can get referrals from your local bar association or use the "find a lawyer" section of the Avvo website. Best of luck with your endeavors.
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There is no "best" way, generally, to respond to your question. It is fact driven. The most important thing I do when meeting with prospective clients is listen to them. When we know what is involved and the specific goals, we can formulate a plan. There are multiple types of trusts available, separate from or included in a will; designation of beneficiaries is terribly important. Family meeting can be of great help. Family Limited Partnerships may present a good part of a plan. So, the answer to your question is, "It depends."
The best thing for your parents to do is schedule a meeting with a well qualified estate planning lawyer.
As the other lawyers state, there really is no substitute to having your parents meet with a lawyer to thresh out what, exactly, they hope to achieve and identify their estate planning goals. Money under a will can be distributed to a trust to hold for particular beneficiaries, and then allow for distribution to the beneficiaries based on criteria set forth in the trust, if that is what your parents want to do. There are so many variations on what can be done, it is impossible to list them in an answer. An example could be that the trustee holds the beneficiary's funds and uses them solely for health, education and welfare purposes until the beneficiary reaches a certain age, or completes a 4 year college degree, or some other benchmark, at which time they become entitled to all or a percentage of the funds, and if a percentage, then they get the rest later based on other criteria (reaching another age benchmark, etc.). The trust can be a testamentary trust (meaning,, it's part of the will), or a separate trust established during your parents' lifetime, and maybe funded all or in part now. Your parents may also want to look at their future long term nursing home needs, and review strategies for Medicaid qualification that preserves most or all of their assets so they do not count against Medicaid eligibility.
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