For the Kids

Monday, November 4, 2013

Trustee Guidance

Sam and Amy have been planning for the possibility that someone else could need to raise their children after their deaths.  They’ve decided to give their trustee, Sam’s sister Tina, wide flexibility to decide how to spend the funds that will go into a trust for their children.

 However, they want to give her as much guidance as they can to help her make any necessary decisions.  We often suggest that parents write a letter, which is not a formal part of the trust or their wills, to give the trustee guidance. 

In it, they can be extremely detailed or talk in broad generalities.  Sam and Amy’s wish that their children be given the opportunity (and even some pressure) to get a college degree is an obvious thing to be included. 

Special directions for Tina is that Sam and Amy feel it is appropriate to spend the trust money to fly their children out to see Amy’s parents at least twice a year, or to fly Amy’s parents in for visits or special occasions, as well. 

Of course, over the years, the specific kinds of things Sam and Amy are concerned about for their children will change.  It is easy to write a new letter and throw the old one away.

We advise our client to keep the letter in their safe deposit box or other secure place where they keep their original estate planning documents.  That way it should be found if ever needed.

 For advice about structuring a trust to carry out your wishes for your children, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an estate planning appointment.  © 2013 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Child Care

Sam and Amy want to provide for their children after their death.  They believe it is not simply a matter of having enough money and life insurance that their children would have enough money.  They want to be sure that the money is spent as wisely as possible.

Since their daughter is only 10 and their son is 13, they know that the court would not allow them to be paid their inheritance outright if Sam and Amy were to pass away in the near future.  But they were surprised to learn that the court would release all the children’s money to them at the ripe old age of 18 if Sam and Amy don’t specify otherwise in their Wills or Trust.

Sam remembers when he was 18 and shudders to think how quickly he could have spent a large inheritance at that age and have very little to show for it when he was broke again. 

Amy remembers being very responsible when she was 18, but she thinks that managing a lot of money would have been a heavy burden for her then.  Those hard lessons about who you can trust and with what would have been far costlier.

If Sam and Amy plan ahead for the remote possibility that they could pass away before their children are really independent, they can help protect their children from themselves and from people trying to take advantage of them.  It is part of complete estate planning. 

For advice about protecting your children even after your death, call our office at (815) 436-1996 for an estate planning appointment.  © 2013 Gruber Law Office, Ltd.

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Our attorneys assist families in Plainfield, IL and the surrounding areas, including Joliet, Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook, Channahon, Crest Hill, Lockport, Minooka, Oswego, Romeoville, Shorewood, and Yorkville, in Will County, DuPage County, Kendall County, and Kane County.

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