Safeguarding Your Heirs From Their Inheritance in Ann Arbor

Blended Family 1

When Juliann Reynolds' husband died of cancer in 1992, she had to decide how to plan her own estate … Reynolds is one of a growing number of parents who are requiring their heirs to wait until they are older before they can collect their inheritances.

When planning for your estate and what to give to whom, there are tough questions involved and a lot to consider. How should your heirs receive their inheritance? Will they be responsible with their inheritance? How do you protect them from financial missteps when you are no longer here?

Money is both the root of all evil and yet a most helpful tool when it comes to achieving life goals. Consequently, consider ensuring that your beneficiaries get enough to help them with their dreams, but not so much they miss out on learning how to work for those dreams on their own.

This often requires that you take great care when structuring the inheritance distribution portion of your estate plan. According to a recent Reuters article titled “More heirs wait as wills dole out money slowly,” more families are structuring their estates as the title suggests.

The tool of choice, now as ever, is a trust fund. Indeed, trust funds have been used to keep assets safe for a younger beneficiary, but that historically meant until their legal maturity at age 18. More recently, however, with social changes as they are, trusts are being created to age 30 or beyond. Some trusts are rather specific in their terms, too. For example, trusts terms may specifically provide for college expenses, the first house, the first child, and other life milestones.

So, are plans that keep the whole distribution process at a low, slow boil the way to go?

They are not without their disadvantages, especially for those who do not want to “rule from the grave” or those who resent being “ruled from the grave.”

In the end, every family and every generation is different. Ask yourself: which strategy is most appropriate for your heirs, assets, and plans? It’s an important angle to review.

To speak with Terry Bertram, an estate planning attorney, visit


Reference: Reuters (June 25, 2013) “More heirs wait as wills dole out money slowly

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