Estate plan musing: how to begin thinking about things

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As noted by a contributor to a recent national piece on estate administration, the planning inclination for many individuals and couples is dulled by narrowly focused objectives regarding their kids.

More specifically, that means this, as posed in the form of a rhetorical query: If my children all get along and I’m simply leaving everything to them, what need do I have for any detailed planning after I’ve got a will in place?

Well, consider this, says financial writer Janis Cowhey: Although one of your beloved children might make an inheritance last for a lifetime, his or her sibling could blow through the entirety of bequeathed assets in a marked hurry.

In other words, stresses Cowhey, note well “that not everyone is good with money” and that you might reasonably want to insert some controls over how your assets are parceled out.

Enter trusts. Like a legion of other commentators on estate planning, Cowhey lauds the power and creativity linked with a trust and the myriad ways in which a creator can structure it to provide in a desired manner for one or more loved ones.

Working together with a seasoned estate administration attorney can potentially yield many trust-linked benefits that a planner never knew existed.

Among other things, a carefully tailored and drafted trust can ensure that assets are released at specified times (e.g., upon marriage, during college, when a baby is born and so forth). It can control the amount of money that is distributed. A trust can ensure far more privacy than the probate process ever can. It can shield an heir from creditors, designate proceeds as separate property and promote a host of other desired outcomes.

As we duly note on our Andover estate planning website at The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen, every client has distinct and even unique needs. Wills, trusts and other planning tools and strategies can be candidly and confidentially discussed with a proven estate administration attorney.

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