Safeguarding Your Assets From Being Squandered

Meeting with attorney

It can be troubling to think that the money left to a beneficiary, especially a son or daughter would be wasted when the intent is the opposite. These are some steps to take to help avoid having an inheritor wasting your hard-earned capital.

Adult children are not entitled to any inheritance from you, meaning you can intentionally leave them nothing if you so desire. If you do wish to leave them nothing, make sure you explicitly state this to avoid any confusion.

You also have the option to let another party manage your money in the form of a trust. A trustee will control your assets to disperse your money on behalf of, or to, the beneficiary.

Choosing a trustee requires considerable thought—this person will be in charge of investing your assets, providing accountings, and making decisions on how to use your money for the benefit of your child. Your trust agreement can outline how spending decisions can be made. This responsibility will remain with whomever you choose for many years, but just how long is up to you. You can set a date or an age for the trust to end, with any remaining money being dispersed to the child.

An easy way of controlling how much money your beneficiary receives is to establish a trust where money is to be disbursed in installments. This way your trustee can manage the funds without having to constantly be making decisions on how it should be spent.

You could also purchase an annuity rather than a trust which is a contract with an insurance company obligating them to make payments to your beneficiary. Annuities often are used to provide retirement income but can also be used to direct payments to a child as well. You can set up regular payments for a set period of time for variable installments depending on investment of the original premium.

For help setting up a trust or annuity, speak with our Nassau County elder law attorneys!