Proverbs 20:21 says “an inheritance obtained too early in life is not a blessing in the end.”
In other words, an inheritance that is received before a person is ready to handle it may be more of a curse than a blessing. However, many people put this exact estate plan in place when preparing their Will.
Living trusts can manage distributions over time.
Often times I see basic Wills prepared for clients that provide all out distributions to the children following their death, whether the children are ready for it or not. But as we read in Proverbs, this may not be a blessing, but a curse. We all know people who are not ready to handle an inheritance, and the inheritance would in fact make their situation worse. Money often exaggerates or magnifies someone’s weaknesses. One of the ways we can help avoid this is through a trust-based estate plan where we stage or spread out distributions over time, or only under certain conditions. This way we can help the immature heir from spending their inheritance all at once; or making sure that a child with addiction issues is clean and sober before gaining access to their inheritance; or perhaps we set up the distributions so we don’t knock a beneficiary off of their government assistance program by keeping their share in trust over time to supplement their needs (sometimes referred to as special needs planning). Through this thoughtful type of planning process, we can be more of a blessing, and less of a curse. These strategies are often incorporated into a Living Trust, which also keeps the family out of court and dealing with the probate process, another blessing for the family.
Our firm focuses on providing trust-based estate planning services in a friendly casual atmosphere, where we can meet to discuss your goals, objectives and concerns. We also offer our estate planning services on a flat fee basis so there are no hourly fees or additional bills (a blessing for you!). Feel free to reach out to our office if you would like to begin a conversation about your estate planning and how you can be a blessing to your children or heirs.