Half of Estate in a Trust?

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Ebenezer
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Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by Ebenezer » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:24 am

Situation: In the event that I die before my spouse, I have doubts about her ability to make decisions about our estate before, and after, her eventual death that are in line with my wishes. Don't get me wrong. My wife and I are in great shape. We just have different opinions, in some cases strong, regarding estate planning.

Can my will stipulate that half (my half) of our net worth go to a trust upon my death with conditions for management that I specify? Sounds crazy to me, even when I say it, but I have worked WAY too hard to get to this stage just to settle for things playing out in a way I would not want them to.

And, yes, I am intentionally being a little vague here because of family situations and such that I would rather not put in a public forum.

Thanks

Gill
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by Gill » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:27 am

Absolutely. It is very common to leave one's estate in trust for a spouse with provisions for the trust's disposition upon the spouse's death, either outright or in continuing trust. The terms of the trust can be very broad or as restrictive as you wish. You speak of "my half" . If your property is all in joint name you would need to change this in order for your will to control its disposition.
Gill
Last edited by Gill on Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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sport
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by sport » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:38 am

Gill wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:27 am
Absolutely. It is very common to leave one's estate in trust for a spouse with provisions for the trust's disposition upon the spouse's death, either outright or in continuing trust. The terms of the trust can be very broad or as restrictive as you wish.
Gill
Gill,
Does having joint accounts make this more difficult?

Gill
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by Gill » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:40 am

sport wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:38 am
Gill wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:27 am
Absolutely. It is very common to leave one's estate in trust for a spouse with provisions for the trust's disposition upon the spouse's death, either outright or in continuing trust. The terms of the trust can be very broad or as restrictive as you wish.
Gill
Gill,
Does having joint accounts make this more difficult?
Read my mind. I was just amending my post to reflect that because it occurred to me all the OP's property may be joint.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal

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CAsage
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by CAsage » Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:34 pm

Joint accounts mean the property passes directly to the other party, and your will is irrelevant. That is clearly a two-edged sword type solution! Investigate things like "tenants in common" or the need to put accounts/assets in the trust itself. Definitely see a lawyer... and think really nice jewelry for Christmas (half kidding). Not kidding: hope your wife is fully on board with this or it could get complicated.
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by fourwheelcycle » Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:46 pm

My wife and I have everything in a joint revocable trust that says the surviving spouse continues as the sole trustee when the first of us dies, so de facto she gets everything with no strings attached.

Previously, we had individual revocable trusts that said when either of us died our trust became an irrevocable trust to benefit our surviving spouse (HEMS) during their lifetime, then everything went in even shares to our children. Our individual trusts did not specify any investment management requirements - that was left up to the trust company we named as the trustee and a financially knowledgeable trusted friend we named as co-trustee, with the right to name a replacement trust company (for any reason, but essentially if our friend and the first trust comapany could not agree on key issues). I assume we could have added specific (even differing!) investment requirements to our respective trusts if we wished to do so. I suppose we also could have had differing designations for our ultimate heirs and the shares for each heir.

delamer
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by delamer » Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:18 pm

If you go this route with your half of the assets, your wife will almost certainly do the same thing with her half.

So you could end up living with her decisions if she dies first.

Retired2013
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by Retired2013 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:37 pm

fourwheelcycle wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:46 pm
My wife and I have everything in a joint revocable trust that says the surviving spouse continues as the sole trustee when the first of us dies, so de facto she gets everything with no strings attached.

Previously, we had individual revocable trusts that said when either of us died our trust became an irrevocable trust to benefit our surviving spouse (HEMS) during their lifetime, then everything went in even shares to our children. Our individual trusts did not specify any investment management requirements - that was left up to the trust company we named as the trustee and a financially knowledgeable trusted friend we named as co-trustee, with the right to name a replacement trust company (for any reason, but essentially if our friend and the first trust comapany could not agree on key issues). I assume we could have added specific (even differing!) investment requirements to our respective trusts if we wished to do so. I suppose we also could have had differing designations for our ultimate heirs and the shares for each heir.
So why a trust?

I've struggled with this for many years so we did nothing. We just did our wills and nothing really even passes by will to the spouse. Just about everything is joint or 100% spouse as beneficiary.

As of now, it's the secondary beneficiaries that are the problems. We would like to split everything 50 /50 between families. However, since everything goes to the spouse, then the spouse will be able to change beneficiaries after the other is gone.

Can the spouse change the beneficiary in the trust once the other is gone? The remaining spouse can draw down the trust to $0 if they like and give the funds to whomever?

In the end, you what to support the other spouse 100% (married 30+ years) so you also have to trust your spouse will listen to your wishes in the end. I haven't found any way to have your cake and eat it too!

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JoeRetire
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by JoeRetire » Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:41 pm

Ebenezer wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:24 am
Can my will stipulate that half (my half) of our net worth go to a trust upon my death with conditions for management that I specify? Sounds crazy to me, even when I say it, but I have worked WAY too hard to get to this stage just to settle for things playing out in a way I would not want them to.
Yes.

But in some jurisdictions, your wife may first have to agree with this distribution. How does she feel about this concept?

Talk with a good estate attorney. They can help you meet your goals.
Don't be a lemming.

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JoeRetire
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by JoeRetire » Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:45 pm

Retired2013 wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:37 pm
Can the spouse change the beneficiary in the trust once the other is gone?
Maybe. That's up to the specifics of the trust and the trustees.
The remaining spouse can draw down the trust to $0 if they like and give the funds to whomever?
Maybe. That's up to the specifics of the trust and the trustees.
Don't be a lemming.

delamer
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by delamer » Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:47 pm

Retired2013 wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:37 pm
fourwheelcycle wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:46 pm
My wife and I have everything in a joint revocable trust that says the surviving spouse continues as the sole trustee when the first of us dies, so de facto she gets everything with no strings attached.

Previously, we had individual revocable trusts that said when either of us died our trust became an irrevocable trust to benefit our surviving spouse (HEMS) during their lifetime, then everything went in even shares to our children. Our individual trusts did not specify any investment management requirements - that was left up to the trust company we named as the trustee and a financially knowledgeable trusted friend we named as co-trustee, with the right to name a replacement trust company (for any reason, but essentially if our friend and the first trust comapany could not agree on key issues). I assume we could have added specific (even differing!) investment requirements to our respective trusts if we wished to do so. I suppose we also could have had differing designations for our ultimate heirs and the shares for each heir.
So why a trust?

I've struggled with this for many years so we did nothing. We just did our wills and nothing really even passes by will to the spouse. Just about everything is joint or 100% spouse as beneficiary.

As of now, it's the secondary beneficiaries that are the problems. We would like to split everything 50 /50 between families. However, since everything goes to the spouse, then the spouse will be able to change beneficiaries after the other is gone.

Can the spouse change the beneficiary in the trust once the other is gone? The remaining spouse can draw down the trust to $0 if they like and give the funds to whomever?

In the end, you what to support the other spouse 100% (married 30+ years) so you also have to trust your spouse will listen to your wishes in the end. I haven't found any way to have your cake and eat it too!
As Gill noted above, a trust can be as flexible or as restrictive as you want.

But you are right, there is a certain level of trust that is required between spouses that the survivor will honor the other’s wishes.

afan
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by afan » Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:05 pm

There may be federal and state tax implications of not leaving assets to a spouse.
From the OP it is not clear whether the goal is to leave assets for the spouse's benefit but with conditions on management. The post could be read as planning to leave the money to someone or something else. If the latter, there may be limitations on the ability to disinherit a spouse. Particularly for retirement assets.
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fourwheelcycle
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by fourwheelcycle » Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:28 pm

Retired2013 wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:37 pm
fourwheelcycle wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:46 pm
My wife and I have everything in a joint revocable trust that says the surviving spouse continues as the sole trustee when the first of us dies, so de facto she gets everything with no strings attached.
So why a trust? .... We would like to split everything 50 /50 between families. However, since everything goes to [my] spouse, then the spouse will be able to change beneficiaries after the other is gone. ..... Can [your] spouse change the beneficiary in the trust once [you are] gone? [Can your] spouse draw down the trust to $0 if they like and give the funds to whomever?
Yes to all of your worries about a joint revocable trust (JRT). My wife can do anything she wants once I am gone, and vice versa. My wife's uncle married a very strong willed woman after his wife died. When my wife's uncle died his new wife inherited everything (via a will, but it could just as easily have been a JRT). The new wife left everything to her children, with nothing to my wife's cousins! We vowed we would never do that. We did not move to a JRT until we were in our late sixties, married forty-two years. We are now at forty-four years and we see no chance of a divorce, or of either of us remarrying and disinheriting our own children. But you are right, there is nothing in our JRT that would prevent any of the concerns you are worried about.

If you are really concerned, you and your wife could have wills or individual revocable trusts that include whatever protections and directives you desire, as I noted in my first post. You could even do it with a JRT, if your attorney thinks that would be advisable.

The main advantage we see in a JRT is that our children would have to pay an attorney to take our wills through probate, and the process would take six or more months. With a JRT our children can step in automatically as our successor trustees and gain immediate access to our savings. You have to decide whether you are inclined to wills, IRTs, or a JRT. With any of these choices you can provide for "your half" of the money to go to your spouse with no strings attached or to a lifetime irrevocable trust for the benefit of your spouse (HEMS or otherwise), and you can each designate the ultimate heirs (beneficiaries) for your half.

huai
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by huai » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:29 pm

If you’re worried about your wife’s financial competence simply don’t make her the trustee

Set up a testamentary trust and Give trustee powers to a friend or a professional trust company, for benefit of your wife, remainder to your kids.

bsteiner
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by bsteiner » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:01 pm

You can say whatever you want in your Will.

Note that in most states a spouse is entitled to an elective share. For example, in New York, a spouse is entitled to 1/3 of your estate (including for this purpose assets passing outside the Will other than life insurance). In some states, assets passing in trust may receive partial or full credit toward the elective share depending on the terms of the trust. In a few states, assets passing outside the Will aren't included, or may not be included, in the elective share pot.

What state are you in?

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Ebenezer
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by Ebenezer » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:27 am

CAsage wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:34 pm
Joint accounts mean the property passes directly to the other party, and your will is irrelevant. That is clearly a two-edged sword type solution! Investigate things like "tenants in common" or the need to put accounts/assets in the trust itself. Definitely see a lawyer... and think really nice jewelry for Christmas (half kidding). Not kidding: hope your wife is fully on board with this or it could get complicated.
She doesn't see the need, but also understands the 'why' from my perspective. Will definitely need more details and discussion before she is completely on board.

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Ebenezer
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by Ebenezer » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:31 am

afan wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:05 pm
There may be federal and state tax implications of not leaving assets to a spouse.
From the OP it is not clear whether the goal is to leave assets for the spouse's benefit but with conditions on management. The post could be read as planning to leave the money to someone or something else. If the latter, there may be limitations on the ability to disinherit a spouse. Particularly for retirement assets.
Yes, the goal would be to leave assets for my spouse's benefit until her death, with restrictions on what can be used for secondary beneficiaries.

Arbol
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by Arbol » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:44 am

A trust is a good idea because it allows you to do more than a will. A will distributes your assets after your death to your beneficiaries. End of story - you are no longer in control. A trust lets your successor control the assets and distribute under the terms you established for a very long time. Yes - this is very much about control.

I would establish the trust during my lifetime and retitle property appropriately.

I would not let my will establish my trust. Why pay for probate and a trust? Tax issues, ownership/title issues, and beneficiary designations could derail a trust established by a will.

This is not something to do alone. Wife will have to cooperate if you want to establish a revocable living trust.

Good luck.

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Ebenezer
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by Ebenezer » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:44 am

bsteiner wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:01 pm
You can say whatever you want in your Will.

Note that in most states a spouse is entitled to an elective share. For example, in New York, a spouse is entitled to 1/3 of your estate (including for this purpose assets passing outside the Will other than life insurance). In some states, assets passing in trust may receive partial or full credit toward the elective share depending on the terms of the trust. In a few states, assets passing outside the Will aren't included, or may not be included, in the elective share pot.

What state are you in?
Indiana

Retired2013
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by Retired2013 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:23 am

Ebenezer wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:31 am
afan wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:05 pm
There may be federal and state tax implications of not leaving assets to a spouse.
From the OP it is not clear whether the goal is to leave assets for the spouse's benefit but with conditions on management. The post could be read as planning to leave the money to someone or something else. If the latter, there may be limitations on the ability to disinherit a spouse. Particularly for retirement assets.
Yes, the goal would be to leave assets for my spouse's benefit until her death, with restrictions on what can be used for secondary beneficiaries.
This is the part I haven't figured out yet. The easy part is leaving everything to the other spouse free and clear, no strings attached. The hard part is "with restrictions on what can be used for secondary beneficiaries."

I also want to leave the assets for my spouse 100% only then she / he has future control OR
You leave some assets in trust but then she / he doesn't have control for her / his benefit, unless she / he is the Trustee. If she/ he is the Trustee, then she / he can change things. Therefore, we are both leaving everything, 100% to spouse of over 30 years and trusting the remaining spouse will do what we agreed upon as to the secondary beneficiaries.

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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by bsteiner » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:49 am

Ebenezer wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:44 am
bsteiner wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:01 pm
You can say whatever you want in your Will.

Note that in most states a spouse is entitled to an elective share. For example, in New York, a spouse is entitled to 1/3 of your estate (including for this purpose assets passing outside the Will other than life insurance). In some states, assets passing in trust may receive partial or full credit toward the elective share depending on the terms of the trust. In a few states, assets passing outside the Will aren't included, or may not be included, in the elective share pot.

What state are you in?
Indiana
The Indiana elective share is generally half of the estate.

If you were to leave your estate in trust for her, depending on the nature of her interest in the trust and the degree of control she has over the trust, she may accept it rather then claim her elective share.

Since the Indiana elective share pot is generally limited to the probate estate, you could probably avoid her elective share by creating a revocable trust and putting your assets into it. There have been a couple of cases where revocable trusts were considered in contemplation of death and included in the elective share pot, but if you do it long enough in advance of your death it would likely be respected. If you're concerned that she might claim her elective share, you may want to consider doing this. Of course, the trend has been toward expanding the elective share pot, so at some point this may no longer work.

You didn't give us your age, her age, or the size of your estate. But you might want to consider a Clayton QTIP trust (in which to the extent your executors elect the marital deduction, the trust assets are held in a marital trust in which she receives all the income, and to the extent your executors don't elect the marital deduction, the trust assets are held in a credit shelter trust in which the trustees have discretion to distribute to your wife and issue, or to accumulate the income).

jj45
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by jj45 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:02 pm

We recently set up trusts that do exactly that. Our concern was not that one of us didn't trust the other, but rather after one of us dies the other still has a life. They may remarry, have more kids, etc. Our goal was to ensure that when the first one dies, their half of the estate goes to our joint kids when the second one dies. We currently have a single revocable trust. When one of us dies, our current trust property is split into two equal halves. The surviving spouse get's their half in a revocable survivor's trust they can do what they want with. Disinherit our joint kids, add other beneficiaries to the mix, withdraw it all for lavish spending on their new girl/boy toy, etc. But the half of the spouse who died goes into an irrevocable deceased trustmaker's trust and neither the beneficiaries, not anything else, can be changed. In our case, the surviving spouse is the trustee and can withdraw from the deceased trustmaker's trust for their own health, education, and welfare, but you could name anyone the trustee and put in any restrictions you like on spending from this trust. Talk to a competent estate lawyer.

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JoeRetire
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by JoeRetire » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:09 pm

You might want to read "Beyond the Grave, Revised and Updated Edition: The Right Way and the Wrong Way of Leaving Money to Your Children (and Others)" by Jeffery L. Condon.

In it, Condon talks about all sorts of ways to bequeath assets the way you prefer despite spouses, ex-spouses, etc. Some of them are pretty far out. Many of them involve purchasing an insurance policy or two.

You should still get a good estate attorney involved, IMHO.
Don't be a lemming.

delamer
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by delamer » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:18 pm

jj45 wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:02 pm
We recently set up trusts that do exactly that. Our concern was not that one of us didn't trust the other, but rather after one of us dies the other still has a life. They may remarry, have more kids, etc. Our goal was to ensure that when the first one dies, their half of the estate goes to our joint kids when the second one dies. We currently have a single revocable trust. When one of us dies, our current trust property is split into two equal halves. The surviving spouse get's their half in a revocable survivor's trust they can do what they want with. Disinherit our joint kids, add other beneficiaries to the mix, withdraw it all for lavish spending on their new girl/boy toy, etc. But the half of the spouse who died goes into an irrevocable deceased trustmaker's trust and neither the beneficiaries, not anything else, can be changed. In our case, the surviving spouse is the trustee and can withdraw from the deceased trustmaker's trust for their own health, education, and welfare, but you could name anyone the trustee and put in any restrictions you like on spending from this trust. Talk to a competent estate lawyer.
If the surviving spouse is the trustee of the irrevocable trust, doesn’t s/he get to decide what the withdrawals will be for her/his own benefit?

So absent a co-trustee, are there really any restrictions on withdrawals?

I am not asking to be critical, but because it seems that the setup is still highly dependent on the survivor honoring the original intent.

Arbol
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by Arbol » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:28 pm

delamer wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:18 pm
jj45 wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:02 pm
We recently set up trusts that do exactly that. Our concern was not that one of us didn't trust the other, but rather after one of us dies the other still has a life. They may remarry, have more kids, etc. Our goal was to ensure that when the first one dies, their half of the estate goes to our joint kids when the second one dies. We currently have a single revocable trust. When one of us dies, our current trust property is split into two equal halves. The surviving spouse get's their half in a revocable survivor's trust they can do what they want with. Disinherit our joint kids, add other beneficiaries to the mix, withdraw it all for lavish spending on their new girl/boy toy, etc. But the half of the spouse who died goes into an irrevocable deceased trustmaker's trust and neither the beneficiaries, not anything else, can be changed. In our case, the surviving spouse is the trustee and can withdraw from the deceased trustmaker's trust for their own health, education, and welfare, but you could name anyone the trustee and put in any restrictions you like on spending from this trust. Talk to a competent estate lawyer.
If the surviving spouse is the trustee of the irrevocable trust, doesn’t s/he get to decide what the withdrawals will be for her/his own benefit?

So absent a co-trustee, are there really any restrictions on withdrawals?

I am not asking to be critical, but because it seems that the setup is still highly dependent on the survivor honoring the original intent.
Withdrawals would depend on the terms of the irrevocable trust. You certainly can have the terms restrict withdrawals.

The residual beneficiaries could ask for an accounting. They could sue if the surviving spouse/sole trustee violates the terms of the trust.

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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by bsteiner » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:38 pm

delamer wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:18 pm
...
If the surviving spouse is the trustee of the irrevocable trust, doesn’t s/he get to decide what the withdrawals will be for her/his own benefit?

So absent a co-trustee, are there really any restrictions on withdrawals?
...
A trustee who's a beneficiary can't participate in discretionary distributions in his/her own favor except as limited by an ascertainable standard such as health, support and maintenance. Those decisions would be made by the other trustee(s).

While permitted, it's usually not a good idea to allow a trustee who's a beneficiary to participate in distributions in his/her own favor for health, maintenance and support, or to allow a beneficiary to withdraw for those purposes. It's more likely to result in commingling of assets and in disputes over whether a particular item falls within those categories. It also may expose the trust assets to creditors.

Of course, if you want the spouse to effectively control the trust, you can give the spouse the power to remove and replace his/her co-trustee (provided the replacement trustee can't be a close relative or subordinate employee).

jj45
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by jj45 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:45 pm

delamer wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:18 pm
If the surviving spouse is the trustee of the irrevocable trust, doesn’t s/he get to decide what the withdrawals will be for her/his own benefit?

So absent a co-trustee, are there really any restrictions on withdrawals?

I am not asking to be critical, but because it seems that the setup is still highly dependent on the survivor honoring the original intent.
Yes, that is true, but if they did so they be violating their fiduciary duty. My understanding is that the beneficiaries can bring legal action against the trustee if the trustee is not acting according to the terms of the trust. That gets nasty real quick. We chose this setup because after 30 years of marriage and raising kids to be honest responsible adults, we completely trust each other to act legally and honorably.

We both agreed to these terms and it lays out explicitly our intentions after one of us dies. Without this, things could get murky. The surviving spouse might feel uncertain about what is appropriate, worry that the deceased spouse might not have approved actions that we actually think are appropriate, or our kids (they know about the terms of the trusts) might feel they were being unfairly treated. If the surviving spouse builds relationships with others, a new spouse, new kids, a sick relative that they want to care for, and they legitimately want to include them as their beneficiaries, this framework lays out the guidelines. It gives explicit permission for the surviving spouse to use their half of the estate as they wish, and lays out our mutual agreement for how they can use the deceased spouse's half.

delamer
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by delamer » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:55 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:38 pm
delamer wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:18 pm
...
If the surviving spouse is the trustee of the irrevocable trust, doesn’t s/he get to decide what the withdrawals will be for her/his own benefit?

So absent a co-trustee, are there really any restrictions on withdrawals?
...
A trustee who's a beneficiary can't participate in discretionary distributions in his/her own favor except as limited by an ascertainable standard such as health, support and maintenance. Those decisions would be made by the other trustee(s).

While permitted, it's usually not a good idea to allow a trustee who's a beneficiary to participate in distributions in his/her own favor for health, maintenance and support, or to allow a beneficiary to withdraw for those purposes. It's more likely to result in commingling of assets and in disputes over whether a particular item falls within those categories. It also may expose the trust assets to creditors.

Of course, if you want the spouse to effectively control the trust, you can give the spouse the power to remove and replace his/her co-trustee (provided the replacement trustee can't be a close relative or subordinate employee).
It isn’t clear to me from jj45’s description whether there are other trustees in addition to the beneficiary and/or what level of control the surviving spouse has.

It seems to me without another trustee to make to distribution decisions, then the residual beneficiaries remedies to unwarranted distributions are all after-the-fact. Which may limit their ability to recover the money depending on their level of sophistication and access to legal resources.

GAAP
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Re: Half of Estate in a Trust?

Post by GAAP » Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:47 pm

To clarify -- you don't live in a community property state?
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