I was working with a Lafayette couple today in our Baton Rouge office. They had three main goals, and they had a number of secondary goals. The three main goals that they expressed to me at the beginning of the conversation were:
- They wanted to avoid probate;
- They wanted to save estate taxes;
- They wanted to designate a certain child to be "in charge" in the future.
Once we started talking, they opened up and mentioned a number of their secondary goals, which included:
- Leaving their business to a certain child;
- Leaving their home a certain way;
- Making sure the surviving spouse remained in control of everything;
- Keep the daughter's inheritance out of the hands of their influential son-in-law;
- Making a certain bequest for their four grandchildren to help them own a home.
The parents were quite proud of their four children. Their children had all worked hard and were accomplished. This particular couple owned no stocks and bonds, but they has built up a significant estate through real estate - they had been quite successful.
One thing this couple wanted to do was make sure their four children each would ultimately own a home. They felt strongly about the benefits of having a paid-for home. So, they are leaving a bequest to each of their four grandchildren, but they are structuring these bequests through their trust so that the funds for each grandchild can only be used for a down-payment or to pay down the principal of a grandchild's home loan.
I though to myself, "What a great legacy to leave to their grandchildren. The grandchildren will, in this difficult world, be able to get a head start on their lives and on achieving the American dream of home ownership."