When it comes time to plan the gifts of inheritance, some individuals may find themselves a bit uneasy. If a person has accumulated a tidy little sum of wealth, he or she may have various reasons for apprehension when it comes time to transfer assets. One may be concerned about the heirs' ability to handle large sums of cash without harming themselves, or there may be concerns about how the money will be spent. In California, individuals with these types of concerns about their heirs may choose to use a trust to bequeath their estate.
A trust allows the planner to put a structure around the gift of the inheritance. The estate, instead of being given as one lump sum, can be invested into accounts that pay out quarterly, monthly or annually. This gives the planner the peace of mind that the lump sum will not overwhelm the heirs.
Sometimes there will be one child who can be depended on to be a good steward of the trust, who can be chosen as trustee. If one fears the rift that may be caused by choosing one child over the other, an independent third party trustee can also be chosen. When the funds are invested, the trust improves the chances that they will last for many years and limits the possibility they will be squandered.
For some individuals, estate planning will include the question of how to transfer assets that have significant value. Not every heir is prepared to take on this responsibility, and a trust takes away the burden. In California, individuals who are considering passing their wealth through a trust may wish to contact an estate planning attorney for more guidance on the issue.
Source: theledger.com, "Arbor Outlook: Consider income trusts when planning your estate", Margaret R. McDowell, Nov. 15, 2017