To Trust or Create a Trust?: Parents and the Inheritance Debate

People who happen to have family and fortune want to protect them both, but they often face a crisis of conscience: how much to leave the kids (and under which terms)?

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We’ve all heard stories about children who turn out to be poor stewards of their deceased parents’ estates. So-called “trust fund babies” are notorious for squandering millions on wild lifestyles and poor investments. But then there are exceptions, of course, to the rule.

Forbes recently took up the issue and observed that for all the nephews who spend their way in and out of rehab, there are also grandchildren who spend their inheritances on doctorate degrees or charitable giving. Sometimes it’s tough to tell which child will become which kind of beneficiary.

What’s a parent to do, then? Trust their children to make the most of a significant inheritance? Or assume the worst and insist that they learn to fend for themselves?

Much of it’s a judgment call. But it needn’t be a baseless decision. An experienced estate planning attorney can walk you through the pros and cons, including a variety of potential what-ifs that may never have occurred to you. Those of us who’ve spent countless years creating estate plans for all kinds of families have essentially seen it all.

Of course, one popular option is the carefully crafted trust. An attorney can help you compose very specific terms that will ensure your beneficiaries have everything they need in life, including just the right degree of restraint. To find out more, don’t hesitate to give our office a call.

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