Love and Protection Trust Planning

Many times, non-attorney professionals do not understand the great value in encouraging their clients to do estate planning.

Here is a common story in my office. Just the other day, I got a call from a prospective client.  His family situation is one that I have heard repeatedly over the years.  With sadness and concern, he said, “I need to get my ducks in a row and do my estate planning.  But my biggest problem is that one of my adult children has some issues.  He has really messed up.”

Often, when we meet with clients it becomes clear that many seniors are still writing checks to help out—or bail out—loved ones who are vulnerable  to manipulation or who have destructive lifestyles.  It may be a child who’s been disabled either physically or mentally since birth; such a child may be living at home or in a group home setting.  It may be a child who is currently in an abusive relationship.  It may be a child who has never been able to—and likely will never be able to—handle money.  It may be a child that had (or still has) an addiction.

Whatever the reason, these parents have a vulnerable adult child who will need continual care and support.  The role of the capable estate attorney is to be able to protect the assets left to the child within a trust wrapper. The trust is the rule book that governs payouts of proceeds for needed expenses. The rule book encourages good behavior and does not fund the bad habits.  That trust can include controls that help to pay for rehab, or keep the assets protected from an abusive spouse.  There are as many ways of creating that wrapper as there are circumstances that cause a client to need to create a distribution lockbox for that adult child.

If you want more information on this type of Love and Protection Trust, please contact my office at 630-585-5200.


Rick L. Law

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