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How you can protect a child with a spendthrift trust

You're finally taking the step of putting an estate plan in place. You hope you'll be around for decades to come, but you never know. You've worked hard your entire adult life and have considerable assets to show for all of that hard work. You want your children to inherit that money.

However, leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to young adults (and even older ones) isn't always wise. Maybe one of your kids is a paragon of caution and knows the value of a dollar. The other one -- whom you love just as much -- believes in living for the moment, no matter what it costs. How do you see that this child is included in your estate while protecting them from blowing through the money and soon having nothing left?

That's where a spendthrift trust comes in. It lets you pass on your wealth to your heirs, while also protecting it -- and your beneficiaries. A spendthrift trust can also protect the money from being taken by creditors that your loved one may owe due to their profligate spending.

These trusts are managed by trustees. This can be a responsible individual you know or perhaps a corporate trustee. The trustee controls the disbursement of the funds in the trust to the beneficiary, guided by the trust agreement that you, as the grantor, have set up. A spendthrift trust is basically like any other type of trust except that it includes a spendthrift provision.

If you're considering a spendthrift trust for one or more of your loved ones, an experienced North Carolina estate planning attorney can provide advice on how to set it up, what language to use and how to choose an appropriate trustee. They can help you craft a unique estate plan to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of when you're no longer around to do so personally.

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Ashley Cannon, Attorney at Law, PLLC
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