I'm working with a gentleman who lives in Monroe, Louisiana. He is divorced. He has three children - two are in their early 20's, and one is a teen-ager. He is not fond of his ex-wife - she took him to the cleaners in the divorce. He has a "significant other" that he may marry someday but no time soon. He stated that his main estate planning worries were:
- He wanted to make sure his ex-wife did not control his money and his business interests if he died;
- He wanted to make sure his children's inheritance would not be "blown," rather, he wanted to make sure his children would benefit for their lifetimes from the legacy he leaves them; and
- He did not want his ex-wife, his "significant other," and his children to have to go through a probate proceeding in the courts after he died.
He owned a nice home in Monroe, and he wanted to make sure that his "significant other" (whether he married her or not) would have a right to continue living in the home for as long as she wanted to after he died.
He knew that if he had no estate legal plan in place, that his ex-wife would control his teen-age daughter's inheritance, which means she would also have indirect control over the adult children's inheritance because the three children would be inheriting together and co-owning assets.
So we are establishing a trust so that when he dies, his business partner (as the Successor Trustee) can manage his estate for the three children and dole it out to them at different stages in their lives. The children will not get a large inheritance in a lump sum, and will not have an opportunity to "blow it all" with one big mistake. Setting things up this way will keep the ex-wife out of this father's financial affairs when he dies. The family will avoid what would have been an ugly probate proceeding with each party being represented by different bulldog attorneys (further draining estate assets), and the father can rest assured knowing that his significant other will be protected with a home, and his children's inheritance will be protected.
If you are divorced and you want to make sure that your ex-spouse does not control all of your money when you die, you may want to give me a call at 866-491-3884 to start a simple conversation about how easy it is to put an estate legal program in place, whether you live in Monroe, Shreveport, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lake Charles, Lafayette, or Baton Rouge.