People tend to create estate plans that are extremely inclusive of their spouses. They tend to figure that if something happens to them, their spouse will use the assets that they leave them to care for the kids. However, when a couple divorces, many people don’t want their ex-spouse to be the beneficiary of any of their assets. Even though they love their children, sometimes this causes the children to be overlooked.
Leaving Assets in a Trust
When a couple divorces, it’s extremely important that both parents establish new estate plans that allow for their property to pass to their kids. Unfortunately, it can be an issue to leave direct inheritances to minor children – or even young adults. This is because they generally don’t know how to manage the resources left to them. For this reason, many parents will instead choose to protect their children’s inheritance by leaving the resources in trust with their other parent or legal guardian for them to inherit once they turn 18 (or whichever age you believe would be appropriate).
It’s so important that the resources are left in a trust rather than just given to the other parent or guardian because this person may squander these assets – especially if they had a negative or contentious relationship with the deceased parent. By leaving the inheritance in a trust, it protects against the misuse of the kids’ inheritance.
Choosing a Testator
More importantly, with a trust, the testator (creator of the Will) can name anyone they trust to serve as the trustee of the trust. They would be responsible for seeing to it that the children receive what they should. A trustworthy trustee can make sure that the kids’ inheritance is used to support them while they are minors but still maintain resources that they can take control of as adults. You can even explicitly include that you do not want your ex-spouse and the children’s other parent to ever have control over the trust as trustee.
Designating How and When Assets Are Distributed
Additionally, with a trust, you can specifically designate how you wish for your children to receive their inheritance. For instance, you can include that you want them to receive a certain amount of money upon graduating from college or a certain amount of money for purchasing their first home. You’ll just want to be sure to fully fund the trust in order for your intended beneficiaries to avoid the time and expense of probate court.
PALUMBO LAW Helps Those in Rhode Island with Their Estate Plans
At PALUMBO LAW, our knowledgeable Rhode Island Estate Planning attorneys understand Rhode Island estate planning laws and will work strategically to help our clients uphold and protect their rights. If you are in need of a comprehensive estate plan or any associated documents, we can help. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us today!