Do you have a Living Trust capable from protecting you the problems confronting people during these times?
I have a “Living Trust!” People say those words as if they contained some magic But just what is a ”living trust”?
A living trust is a manner of “estate planning” that allows you to control your assets (your money and property) while you are still alive, but have it distributed after your death to the people and organizations you chose without the need for probate.
Sounds simple enough. But let’s not get carried away! “One size does not fit all! A host of problems may come up and a careful and qualified attorney may see problems you do not, saving you and your wife and children a lot of money, not to mention stress.
You must understand that a living trust must be “tailor made” for you family and your children.
One family, husband and wife may have two “model” children well on the path to college and career. Another family may have two to three minor children ranging in age from 15 to 21 years of age. One may have faltered in life and now has become a drug user. Another may be completely inept at handling money and finances. Now creditors will look to your property to satisfy these misguided debts. A good estate planner can address these potential problems in advance.
There are ways to manage your trust so that the money is not squandered. There are ways to protect the trust from being raided by creditors. An experienced attorney can make it so.
Suppose you left a great deal of money or real property to your wife thinking she will have the funds to take care of the children and she re-marries after you pass. Who would want the new spouse to waste the money you meant your children to have? Such an estate can be plundered by creditor, or eaten up in legal fees.
Suppose the daughter or the son marries a problem spouse? These are difficult things, but they do happen.
Then there is what’s called a “special needs trust.”
An appointed trustee must administer a special needs trust (hereinafter: “SNT”). A SNT impacts on the lives of persons (most often an aged relative, or one with disabilities (a chronic illness like Alzheimer’s, or some other debilitating conditions) .
The purpose of the SNT trustee is to provide the beneficiary (the ill person) with goods and services that maintain and enhance their quality of life. In some cases, the SNT trustee may be the only person looking to the beneficiary’s welfare. The ideal SNT trustee may serve many roles, - a good financial manager, an accountant, a record keeper, guardian, and life coach. As one can imagine, this arrangement can become terribly complex.
If you are in need of a living trust or would like a qualified Long Beach estate planning attorney that specializes in these special matters mentioned above, we would be happy to help. Please call our living trust attorney, Michael Gaston at 562-270-6613.
Get a free living trust consultation here.