As a former estate planning attorney I’ve talked with dozens and dozens of wealthy grantors who tell me the same thing: “I just want my children to be safe and secure when I can’t be there for them.”
What do they mean by “safe and secure?”
I’ve heard everything from “I don’t trust my son-in-law” to “She has a bit of a spending problem” to “I don’t want him to be taken advantage of by questionable friends” to “She doesn’t seem to know about / care about finances.”
I’ve also heard more serious concerns like “We’ve had some addiction issues with our son.”
Many of these concerns are never articulated to the beneficiaries because they could be so hurtful. They are such delicate discussions that much of the time they only happen behind closed doors of an attorney’s office.
Is there a solution?
Yes, if the Grantor is still alive initiate an open discussion about their concerns and yours.
If the Grantor is no longer alive, visualize a conversation with them where you imagine their concerns and how the discussion might follow. This will not change the terms of the trust but it will allow you to understand and appreciate the Grantor’s best intentions.
Rather than see the trust as a restriction on your inheritance you may come to see it as a special gift that managed properly will provide a safe, secure nest egg to cushion you and your family through difficult times.