Good Planning Neutralizes Threats

Good estate planning and proper use of trusts neutralizes threats. What threats? Taxes, lawsuits, probate fees, costs, family disputes, loss to in laws.

  1. Do you have a married child who may become divorced later in life?  Unfortunately, in modern times the risk of divorce is high. Some statistics indicate that nearly 50% of newly married couples will divorce later in life. Leaving assets to them in trust, instead of outright, can protect these assets from claims of alimony and division in a divorce.

  2. Do you have a child or grandchild with “special needs”? If there are government benefits a loved one receives, then leaving assets to them in trust, instead of outright, can help preserve these benefits for your loved one.

  3. Do you have a child or loved one who has demonstrated an inability to manage assets? Perhaps, they are in serious debt or have a gambling problem. Leaving assets to them in trust, instead of outright, can protect these assets from irresponsible behavior.

  4. Do you have a successful child who is in a “high risk” profession? Perhaps, you have a daughter who is a surgeon. This profession brings with it a significant exposure to liability from lawsuits. Leaving assets to such a child in trust, instead of outright, can protect these assets from future lawsuits.

While there are many tax related benefits that can be achieved with trusts, a carefully tailored trust can accomplish many non tax objectives that can go a long way to protecting and preserving your family wealth. These matters, as outlined above, should be considered in every case.


Contributed by: Mark F. Winn, J.D., Master of Laws, LL.M. in Estate Planning, is a local tax, asset protection and estate planning attorney.