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.

Share |
 

Related Content

What Is a 1035 Exchange?

What Is a 1035 Exchange?

1035 exchanges provide a way to trade-in an annuity contract or life insurance policy without triggering a tax liability.

Are You Ready for Your Portfolio to Make a Difference?

Are You Ready for Your Portfolio to Make a Difference?

Learn about the rise of Impact Investing and how it may benefit you.

6 Steps to Rewire the Mind-Money Connection

6 Steps to Rewire the Mind-Money Connection

Every new year brings promise, but sometimes this annual ritual can feel more like Groundhog Day. You start the year determined to keep your resolutions, but before too long, you default back to bad habits.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Why Medicare Should Be Part of Your Retirement Strategy

How Medicare can address health care needs in your retirement strategy.

How to Spend Again After Saving

When people save, it brings life rewards. But sometimes after being on your best money behavior for a long time, you want to cut loose and spend. It can happen whether you’ve been saving to buy a home, rejoined the workforce or survived a global pandemic.

Whole Life Insurance Can Be an Asset For Balance

Even if you didn’t grow up on a farm, you’ve heard, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

View all articles

Bi-Weekly Payments

This calculator estimates the savings from paying a mortgage bi-weekly instead of monthly.

Contributing to an IRA?

Determine if you are eligible to contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA.

Long-Term-Care Needs

Determine your potential long-term care needs and how long your current assets might last.

View all calculators

5 Smart Investing Strategies

There are some smart strategies that may help you pursue your investment objectives

Principles of Preserving Wealth

How federal estate taxes work, plus estate management documents and tactics.

Your Cash Flow Statement

A presentation about managing money: using it, saving it, and even getting credit.

View all presentations

Emerging Market Opportunities

What are your options for investing in emerging markets?

What Can a Million Dollars Buy You?

$1 million in a diversified portfolio could help finance part of your retirement.

When Do You Need a Will?

When do you need a will? The answer is easy: Right Now.

View all videos