Mullen and Iannarone, P.C.
Serving the legal needs of corporations, individuals and
families of Suffolk County since 1972

Trusts for less responsible beneficiaries

New York residents who want to leave an inheritance for their children but are concerned about them being irresponsible with the money may want to look into trusts. Trusts can be used to restrict how beneficiaries are able to use money or to protect the inheritance from creditors.

Trusts can be set up in a variety of ways. A person can establish the trust in a will, and it will be funded upon the person's death. The other option is to establish the trust while still alive. This can be funded while the person is alive or after death and can also include others such as grandchildren. Whatever type of trust is chosen, it is also necessary to name someone as the trustee.

Naming a trustee may create some difficulties. For example, naming a more responsible sibling as a trustee may create family conflict and put that sibling in a difficult position. This may particularly be the case if the assets are to be distributed at the discretion of the trustee and not based on some other factor such as the age of the beneficiary.

Estate planning can be complex, and there is often much more to think about than simply equal distribution of assets among heirs as the above discussion demonstrates. A person who is creating an estate plan might want to work with an attorney even if the situation is relatively simple. It can be easy to make a mistake on a do-it-yourself will that makes it invalid. People should also consider creating documents that deal with end-of-life care such as a health care proxy and a power of attorney in case they become incapacitated.

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