fbpx

Avoiding Bad (Spendthrift) Heir Days

Parents need to develop a plan that monitors their prodigal sons and daughters while respecting their independence and giving them room to mature. It's a delicate balance, but parents who employ innovative financial training, carefully chosen trustees and cleverly written trusts can find there's hope for their high-rolling offspring.

 Estate planning is about taking care of your family and loved ones. But what if you have concerns about how your loved ones will use those assets? You spent a lifetime earning what you have through hard work and thrift. So why pass it along only to be squandered? Would you hand over the car keys to a teen who hasn’t proven he or she can drive? As any automobile insurance agent can attest, we spend a good deal of energy (and resources) ensuring that doesn’t happen.

I’ve written on this topic before (see this earlier article I reviewed in the New York Times), but The Wall Street Journal recently provided more suggestions worthy of your consideration.

An elaborate but effective way of ensuring the financial literacy of your heirs and the security of your family assets can be the formation of a family investment company. Here’s how it works: You establish the company, put your heirs on the board, and have them hold discussions with your financial advisors. Throughout the process, you can look on and ensure that correct decisions are being made. While you may elect to hold back and observe the progress of your heirs, the process may surprise you and exceed your expectations… or it simply may justify your concerns.

In any event, the family investment company can make for a great learning experience. For some families, that may entail paying for academic financial lessons, as well as providing a time for inter-generational conversations about the family assets. Regardless, to be most beneficial, the process should be started earlier rather than later and provide for ongoing involvement.

The main tool for teaching financial skills and inheritance training usually will be the trust. There are a great many tools at your disposal when you begin a trust and you can tailor them to include incentives or benchmarks to protect the assets and the heirs. Of course, the trust also can be powerful, since it brings the trustees into the mix.

Another suggestion to consider is appointing multiple trustees. For example, you may appoint one trustee to manage the purse-strings and another to oversee the heirs and gauge their progress. Depending on how you arrange the trust, the trustees can become powerful gatekeepers to protect the assets and even motivate the heirs.

As a result, it is often advisable that you consider appointing someone far removed to be in charge of trust finances, with a family friend to interact with the heirs. In many instances, it is not advisable to appoint a family member as trustee, since this may create intra-family strife.

There are many options to consider and these are just a few. What you do will depend on your assets, your heirs, and the specific concerns you hope to address. It is best to discuss your concerns with appropriate legal counsel who understands your situation and can help you determine the best course of action.

You can learn more about estate planning in the Estate Planning Practice Center on our website. Be sure to sign up for our free e-newsletter to stay abreast of issues like these that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.

Reference: The Wall Street Journal (September 19, 2011) “When You’re Child’s A Spendthrift

 

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

LIKE THIS POST?

We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.