Typical Existing Family Living Trust
Most trusts created by multi-purpose law firms are a generic “one size fits all” boilerplate estate plan. They act in a manner that mimics the expectations of creating a personal will. Sometimes they create a joint trust for husband and wife, or a single trust for each, depending on the acceptance of the costs involved.
They can upgrade to a linked “A-B” pair of trusts that can maximize tax effects and timed transfer of multiple assets. Difficult assets can be placed on one of the trusts, and a better group of assets can be in the other trust. This is a major improvement to the simple trust, but still offers no protection or benefits during their lifetimes.
Review the Existing Trust
Most trusts are a version known as a “Living Trust”. There are variations that include one or more words like “revocable” and “family”, but they are the typical low cost version that becomes very worthwhile upon death (but not before). A review of the existing trust can quickly determine and explain options of each method.
Upgrade the Existing Trust
The next level upgrade is to a trust that protects and benefits all parties during their lifetime. The typical solution offered by attorneys can be fairly complex and expensive. Worse, it usually does not provide for lifestyle changes and resulting modifications to the trust. Few planners want to convince families to commit to a plan that has no way to accommodate the changing needs of the managers and family.
The Private Asset Trust
We have a solution for all of those concerns. Use a simple Private Asset Trust for each single asset that is worthwhile.
This allows for:
- Simplicity of creation
- Simplicity of understanding (one item at a time)
- Choice of Manager / Trustee (different for each asset?)
- Choice of Beneficiary (different for each asset?)
- Single Asset Separates to Maintain Privacy
- Single Asset Limits Legal Attack to a Single Target
- Single Asset to Modify (replace the asset with new car or better home)
- Single Asset to Change Management (Select Better or Replace a Manager)
- Single Asset to Sell or Transfer the Benefits (No fees)
Additionally, this provides a great way to keep family members (or former family members) from disputes. Rather than share management and/or benefits, they can have separate assets to manage and/or benefit from.
A great example is the family of Mr. Smith. He has two kids from his first marriage. The former Mrs. Jones has a child from her first marriage. Now the newly married Mr. & Mrs. Smith have their blended family of three kids PLUS their new baby created together. This creates all kinds of issues for the parents, and ex-spouses, and the various four children of mixed parents. It’s a difficult situation that will be almost impossible to manage and allow fair treatment to all. How can we expect all to agree to a benefit and management plan?
We suggest that a “solution-in-progress” may be the answer.
- TRUST A – A trust for one asset that has the kids from Mr. Smith (marriage #1) as beneficiaries.
- TRUST B – A trust for the second asset that has the child from the former Mrs. Jones as beneficiary.
- TRUST C – A trust for the third asset that has all children as beneficiaries.
Additional assets can be mixed and matched as well.
The other important aspects are automatic. Keeping separate assets allows the fact that there are different private solutions. It also allows for different management. For instance, the true parents can manage their own child’s benefit, when you are ready to turn over control from yourself.
Get a Free Review of Your Trust
We will do a free review and analysis of your existing trusts. Usually, the existing trusts do not give any protection during their life. Many are very surprised when they realize the potential for disaster with their current estate plan. Upgrading to proper protection is fairly easy, especially since they already have some experience and knowledge.