What to Do When You and Your Spouse Do Not Agree About How to Leave Behind Assets for Your Children

Most spouses can come together on the basic tenants of putting together an estate plan, but things can become tricky if one parent is more trusting of a child’s ability to control money than his or her spouse is. There are many different estate planning tools that you can use to help accomplish your goals of passing along your assets to an adult child while also having the peace of mind in knowing that they have limited spending capability.

One option is to use a trust because a trust allows for the use of assets in order to provide for a loved one’s care and needs after the parents have passed away, but it also gives more control over those funds aligned with the trust’s terms and the judgement of the trustee. Putting together a trust requires that you name someone to serve in the position of trustee.

When it comes to the trustee, you could name a family member to serve in this role, but this could lead to very difficult decisions about whether or not a distribution is appropriate. You could instead use a friend, a corporate trustee or a trusted advisor to fulfill this role. This means that the family will still have a role in supporting an adult child but the decision to say yes or no will rely on an outside advisor.

Establishing a trust is a great way to exercise control over the distribution of assets and obtain other estate planning and tax protections. Consult with a New Jersey estate planning attorney today to learn more about how this can work for you.