Helping loved ones while protecting an estate

Missouri residents who have children or step-children might worry about the best way to leave behind an estate. One concerned woman recently wrote to a popular financial advisor because she was worried that her two teen step-children would waste any inheritance they were given. She was unsure that her husband would follow her wishes if she died first because he does not want his children to feel any negativity toward him.

In this situation, the couple is willing to give the children money for education and for the needs of any future grandkids. The couple also wants to set aside enough to permanently assist a 10-year-old daughter with autism. Parents should keep in mind that it is possible for teens and young adults to become more responsible with time. However, one could still put some protections in place to ensure that his or her wishes are met.

One might include stipulations in a will about what the inheritance money can be used for. However, wills do not cover all assets and exclude accounts with beneficiaries, property and 401(k)s. A living trust could be used for other assets. A couple might each have a trust for separate assets and could split marital assets between the trusts. One can make changes to a trust while alive, but a trust becomes irrevocable when the grantor passes away.

Many parents who have built a legacy want to make sure that future generations of family get the most use from their assets and may need to put restrictions on their estate. When offspring are younger, a payment schedule might dole out a certain amount of money from a trust at specific times. When one has a loved one with special needs, a special needs trust can help this person while they receive government benefits.

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