Families come in all shapes and sizes, with their own unique strengths and challenges. Whether you are married, single, have a life partner, children, step-children, or great-grandchildren, each situation requires thoughtful and creative planning.
Here are some common ways we help our clients address family matters:
- Creating trusts for minor children to enable a trustee of your choosing to provide for your children’s general support, education, and medical needs, and to make distributions when your children are ready to manage their own financial affairs.
- Providing for parents in the event you predecease them.
- Creating trusts for adult children. Sometimes an adult child is unable to manage their own financial affairs because of an inability to hold down a job, develop healthy relationships, or live within their means. A well-drafted trust can protect an inheritance from creditors, bankruptcy, and financial immaturity so that money is available to support your child throughout their lifetime, including providing for their retirement.
- Providing for children with special needs. Special trusts can be used to supplement the financial needs of a child who qualifies for government benefits without disqualifying them from the same.
- Giving gifts to grandchildren. There are many opportunities to provide for your grandchildren that not only support their education and future endeavors, but also minimize your estate taxes.
- Planning for blended families. Second marriages create unique planning opportunities to ensure that the needs of children and step-children are appropriately met.
- Managing family inheritances. A spouse who inherits family wealth often wishes to pass this directly to his or her children, rather than directly to his or her surviving spouse.
- Succession planning for family businesses. For business owners, the family business is often the largest asset in their estate. How do we divide this asset amongst children who may or may not be interested in engaging in the business? Business succession planning is a big deal and requires thoughtful planning to promote family unity and continued success.
We find that when you dig into a family’s unique relationships and circumstances, there is rarely a cookie-cutter solution to any issue. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your family’s unique planning opportunities and challenges. We will then work together to develop a planning solution that will provide both peace and confidence as you look to the future.