Who Needs to Consider Trusts for their Children in Atlanta

Who Needs to Consider Trusts for their Children in Atlanta

trust and estates lawyers in AtlantaThere are a lot of reasons to consider setting up trusts for your children, but trust and estates lawyers in Atlanta see far too many cases where this just isn’t done.  One of the biggest reasons for not setting up a trust could be that you just don’t think you have enough assets to warrant one.  We hear about “trust fund babies” and automatically think of the super wealthy, not regular folks like ourselves.

Really, though, even those in the middle class should be thinking about setting up trusts for their children.  Even if you don’t have a lot of extra money lying around, you have other assets that can quickly add up in value.  Add to that the payout from a life insurance policy, and you suddenly realize that you have quite a bit of financial worth that might be left behind to children who are not ready to handle it.  Anything more than about $100,000 is reasonable to consider putting into a trust for children here in Atlanta

What Does the Trust Do?

When you set up a trust with your trust and estates lawyer in Atlanta, you will discover that there are many different ways to use this tool.  One of the most important benefits of a trust is that it allows you to stipulate how your children will use the money you leave behind.  If your intention is for your kids to use the money for college, but they want to use it to buy a sports car instead, what’s to stop them?

In your case, the trust is what can stop them.  You can implement restrictions on how the money is spent.  You can, for example, determine that the funds in the trust are designated for specific functions, such as paying for education or day-to-day expenses.  In some cases, there is a designated adult to help keep things on track, although this person must be chosen wisely.  In other cases, the parent sets age limits on the trust, assuring that the children don’t have access to the money until they have more time to mature.

Protecting the Trust

Another reason to consider a trust is to protect your children’s money from misuse by the adult in charge of the funds.  In the case of a “custodial” account, the person in charge can have a lot more say in how the money is spent.  This could translate into frivolous expenses, including paying himself or herself an unrealistic amount to “manage” the funds.  With a trust, however, the person in charge (the “trustee”) is held more accountable and is required to follow your wishes.

If the trustee does manage the funds poorly, it is also possible that your child would have some legal recourse, as the trust is a legal contract.

Talk to an Atlanta Trust and Estates Lawyer

The best way to determine if a trust is right for you and family is to talk to an Atlanta trust and estates lawyer.  Our attorneys are available to sit down with you at no-charge to review your estate plan and consider how a trust or other estate planning tools can best meet your needs.  To schedule a complimentary Georgia Family Treasures Planning Session, simply call 770.425.6060 and mention this article.

Marietta Estate Planning Lawyer Suggests: The Holidays Are a Perfect Opportunity to Check Up on Aging Parents

Marietta Estate Planning Lawyer Suggests: The Holidays Are a Perfect Opportunity to Check Up on Aging Parents

estate plans for aging parents

The holidays are a traditional time for multiple generations to gather together, and are also a perfect opportunity for adult children to perform a reality check on how their aging parents are doing health-wise as well as assess financial and medical planning issues.

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance provides these tips:

Check your elderly relatives’ home for potential fall hazards.  If there is unopened mail and unpaid bills laying around, it may be a sign they are having difficulty coping with everyday living.

Check the pantry and refrigerator to ensure it is well stocked.  If a parent has lost weight or there is spoiled food around, this is a sign that they may need some additional help around the house.

Make a list of all your parents’ medications and get the phone numbers of their primary care physicians.

Be sure you have the license numbers of all vehicles in case one is stolen or your parent goes missing.

Talk to your parents about advance health care directives.  If they don’t have one, help them find a personal family lawyer (our Marietta family estate planning law firm can help you there) to talk to about creating these and other important estate planning documents.

If you’d like to learn more about wills, living wills, advance health care directives, power of attorney for health care designations or any other aspects of estate planning, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Georgia Family Treasures Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.