Serving South Florida Since 1974

Tailor a trust to meet its beneficiaries’ needs

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2024 | Estate Planning

When doing your estate planning, it is important to realize that your beneficiaries are individuals with often wildly disparate skill sets, strengths and weaknesses. What may be an appropriate bequest for some heirs may be quite inappropriate for others.

Not everyone is equipped to manage large sums of money, particularly when they may have lived paycheck to paycheck in the past. If some of your beneficiaries could fit those categories, a spendthrift trust might be the estate planning tool you need.

Who benefits from spendthrift trusts?

Anyone who struggles with substance abuse or compulsive gambling or shopping addictions probably won’t do well with unfettered access to their inheritance. Also, adult children or grandchildren who are married to controlling, manipulative or abusive spouses could be coerced into handing over the funds.

Younger beneficiaries, too, might do better with certain restraints put onto their access to an inheritance, e.g., funds available only for post-secondary education tuition and expenses and a small living stipend that assures they will not lead the life of the idle rich. Disbursements can also be linked to achievements like graduation, marriage, the birth of children or other events. Cash disbursements can be earmarked for home purchases or made accessible in crises upon approval from the trustee you select to oversee the trust.

Act now to set your plans in motion

No one has a lease on life, so delaying estate planning is discouraged. By learning more about all your estate planning options, you can create specific and detailed plans that reflect the unique circumstances of your beneficiaries’ lives and best serve their interests after you have passed away.