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The Wall Street Journal Agrees with Me! Trusts should be Built into Most Wills

Way back in August of 2008 I wrote a Post about Simple Wills.  As you may recall (or just read when you clicked the link) a simple will is usually built as follows:


The problem with Simple Wills (again, as I indicated in 2008) is that don’t usually take care of certain items.  Specifically, I mentioned:

  • Special Needs Trusts – protecting those heirs that are currently receiving gov’t assistance (I will do a whole post unto itself on this);
  • Advanced Spendthrift protection – want to protect this money from creditors and/or divorce for multi-generations, don’t use a simple will;
  • Generation Skipping Tax Issues;
  • Business transfers – (Qualified Sub-chapter S Trusts or Electing Small Business Trusts)…for all those small business owners;
  • Specific bequests you may have

See that bolded print!  Well, in “Deciding if Your Kid is Trustworthy” author Stacy L. Bradford points out,

Even middle-class folks can benefit from trusts when it comes to estate planning. That’s because children under the age of 18 can’t directly inherit more than a small amount of money. If you have more than that to leave to your minor child and make no provisions in your will, a court will appoint a property guardian to manage your child’s assets until he reaches 18 or 21, depending on the state.

But what happens at 18 or 21? Think long and hard could you inherit even the “nominal” sum of $100,000 at those ages?

Spendthrift Protection is What You Want!

We can define spendthrift protection as the protection of the majority of trust principal from creditors (including marital equitable distribution, i.e. divorce).  In the great State of New York, trusts generally are assumed to have this protection unless otherwise stated….and who would state it!  I have never seen a $50 buck will but I can assume spendthrift trust protection is not in there!

Your Testamentary Intent is the Most Important Thing

Since your intent upon your death should be what controls, know your options you can do this by:

  • Subscribing to this blog
  • Checking out my blogroll
  • Utilizing Google
  • Talk to a local attorney


  1. Cool beans! Always nice to beat the established media to the punch, and it sounds like pretty good advice to anyone looking to pass on money to their children. Good stuff to know, although not quite applicable to me, yet.

    • Roger,

      Wow, never been to your site before – GREAT stuff. I have no doubt in my mind with your knowledge and grasp of investments that one day you will want to lock your kids out of their inheritance!


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