Frequently Asked Questions
What if your spouse, parent or sibling are sick and unable to take care of themselves? You can create a trust within your own trust of a specific amount of money to be used for their care and appoint someone you trust to manage it for them.
What if you have minor children, or children who are just not self-supporting? A trust can set aside money to pay for their health, support and maintenance. You can appoint a person you trust to manage their money and this person is not necessarily the person who has custody of them. This helps to ensure the money will spend for your children or intended beneficiaries care and not otherwise.
Many people live in a home that may have been purchased during a first marriage in which their children grew up. What if one spouse died or was divorced and the surviving spouse marries someone else? You may want your children to have the “family” home, but do not want to put your spouse out of the home if you die before him or her. A trust and/or a deed with life estate, can provide that your spouse can remain in the home for their life and on their death, the house goes to your children. Provisions can also be made for the maintenance and upkeep of the house if your spouse may be unable to do so.
What if you have a squandering spouse? You can secure the legacy of your children against squandering by a spouse after your death through creation of a trust that will provide for your spouse during his or her lifetime with the remainder going to your children. Again you appoint who you want to mange this money.
What if you have a squandering offspring? Many people are concerned that their children will get lazy if they know they’ve got all this money coming to them even if they don’t work. One clause that can be used is that the Trust will only match what the beneficiary earns. So before your child gets any of your money, they have to make their own money, usually after a certain age. And you can require proof in the form of a 1040 or 1099 or filed tax return before they can get any money from the trust.
A trust can also provide that a child get only a small percentage over a period of time at a certain ages. For example you might provide 10% at 25, 20% at 25, 30% at 30 and all at 40, or any variation of it.
What if you are single? All persons, especially single persons who may not have close children or others to leave their estates to, can leave money to schools, churches, institutes to help provide education for vocational training, nursing, college, graduate schools.
What if you want to leave something to your church, alumni, etc? You can create a legacy to promote the values taught in your church, Greek organizations, etc. by gifting money to those organizations and/or its programs to support it.
Support for art, music, theater, dance, cultural programs are wonderful ways of making sure the values taught continue.
What if you’d like your money to go to a charity? A trust can also provide for giving your personal property to charity, family, friends. For example you might donate your car to charity, or provide that appropriate property be sold and the proceeds donated to charity.
Your gift to support research for the cure and treatment of sickle cell anemia, cancer, AIDS, etc. will benefit generations to come.
What if you want to motivate a child to finish college or grad school? You can offer a bonus payment when they graduate, and/or reduce the amount they get if they delay. There are many ways to motivate by how the trust is structured.
Again putting aside money that can only be used for education, as you define it, will make certain your children will get an education even if you are dead. You don’t leave it to chance.
Securing the education of their children is a primary concern of most parents and grandparents. A trust that invest money for the education of its beneficiaries is one way to be sure your children and grandchildren can get the training and education they need to thrive in our society.
What if your beneficiary is not prudent with money? Certain clauses in trusts protect your legacy from being reached by creditors of your beneficiaries. So if your intended beneficiary is not prudent with money because of age, addiction, irresponsibility, a trust appoints a Trustee to manage the money for their benefit, use it only for their best interest and still keep it away from the beneficiary’s creditors.
What if you would have paid for your child’s wedding or bar mitzvah, or any other important milestones in their life? You can arrange for your Trustee to make those payments in your name.
What if you like to purchase your beneficiary a home? If you would like your money to help your beneficiaries purchase a home, you can provide that your money be used for that purpose.
What if you would like to help your beneficiary start a business? You can help your beneficiary start a business by providing in your trust that your money can be used to start or invest in a business. You can place requirements and limitations on such use that will make it only usable in prudent situations. Of course your selection of a Trustee is very important in this and other situations.
What if you’d like your child to travel? If you’d like your child to be able to travel growing up, you can provide money for that, even after you have passed.