Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

When Children Inherit Too Much, Too Soon

Images-3As I previously blogged about, Whitney's mother and Whitney's sister-in-law are trying to restrict Bobbi Kristina Brown's inheritance payments.  They are concerned that receiving such a large sum at once will make her a target for financial predators or lead her into a dangerous lifestyle.  The pair believes that the current schedule of distributions to Bobbi Kristina is not in line with Whitney's intent to provide long-term financial security for Bobbi Kristina.  

The concerns illustrated above are just another example of a common problem.  Many people struggle with the best way to leave an inheritance to kids, concerned that the money will impact a child's motivation and self-reliance.  

Hugh Magill, chief fiduciary officer of Northern Trust, often advises clients who face this problem.  He generally advises that such clients create a discretionary trust to hold assets for a beneficiary and allows the client to detail how those funds are managed and released.  He also advises that clients start to prepare their children for a large inheritance at a young age--lay the foundation before they turn 18. Lastly, he advises that all clients keep their estate plans up to date.  Estate planning should be a continuing process. 

See Robert Frank, When $20 Million is Too Much To Leave the Kids, CNBC.com, Oct. 19, 2012. 

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2012/10/when-children-inherit-too-much-too-soon.html

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