K.E.M. Strategic Partners LLC | 300 Brickstone Square, Suite 201 | Andover MA 01810 | P. 978-560-3404  |  F. 978.560.1623

 
 

Caring  |   Independent   |   Practical
Financial Services

Estate Read Time: 3 min

When Heirs are Imperfect

Passing your estate to an heir with credit problems or a gambling or alcohol addiction might not only lead to that wealth being squandered, but the inheritance could worsen the destructive behaviors.

Of course, you don’t want to disinherit your child simply because of their personal challenges. There are potential solutions that allow parents to control and incent behaviors long after they are gone, ensuring that a troubled child’s inheritance won’t be misused.1

Some Common Approaches

A trust is one idea, since it can pass wealth to an heir while maintaining control over the how, when, where, and why the funds can be accessed.2

When establishing such a trust, you can appoint a trustee, who is typically an independent, third party (e.g., trust company) or family member. Appointing a family member, however, may be fraught with problems. Hypothetically speaking, who do you think may be better able to resist the pleadings of a desperate beneficiary? A close relative or a corporate entity?

Furthermore, the trust can specify the precise circumstances under which money will be paid to its beneficiary, or it can specify that the trustee will retain complete discretion in the disbursement of funds.

Structuring Ideas

Trusts can also include incentives, such as requiring drug or alcohol testing before the funds are paid out, or perhaps, that a lump-sum payment be made only upon graduation from college.

To ensure that an heir is committed to change, lump-sum amounts can be paid out after prescribed periods of time, e.g., five years of sobriety. To encourage your heir to seek gainful employment, the trust might pay out a dollar for every dollar in wages. Alternatively, the trust can be written whereby payments are made directly to service providers, like a landlord or utility company.

Trusts can be flexible in their design, but before moving forward with a trust, consider working with a professional who is familiar with the rules and regulations.

1. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.
2. Using a trust involves a complex set of tax rules and regulations. Before moving forward with a trust, consider working with a professional who is familiar with the rules and regulations.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

 

Related Content

A Bucket Plan to Go with Your Bucket List

A Bucket Plan to Go with Your Bucket List

Longer, healthier living can put greater stress on retirement assets; the bucket approach may be one answer.

Are You Prepared for an Estate Tax Sunset?

Are You Prepared for an Estate Tax Sunset?

The federal estate tax exemption sunsets in 2025. Learn more about what to do to make the most of the higher threshold.

Comparing Investments

Comparing Investments

This calculator compares the net gain of a taxable investment versus a tax-favored one.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Protection Against Uninsured Drivers

You’re hit by an uninsured driver. Now what? Are you protected against financial losses?

Making a Charitable Contribution

There are benefits and limitations when you decide to donate stock.

Your Emergency Fund: How Much Is Enough?

Having an emergency fund may help alleviate the stress and worry associated with a financial crisis.

View all articles

Disability Income

This calculator estimates your chances of becoming disabled and your potential need for disability insurance.

Paying Off a Credit Card

Enter various payment options and determine how long it may take to pay off a credit card.

Federal Income Tax

Use this calculator to estimate your income tax liability along with average and marginal tax rates.

View all calculators

The Cycle of Investing

Understanding the cycle of investing may help you avoid easy pitfalls.

The Power of Compound Interest

Learn how to harness the power of compound interest for your investments.

Where Is the Market Headed?

We all know the stock market can be unpredictable. We all want to know, “What’s next for the financial markets?”

View all videos