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St. Paul residents should make long-term plans for their children

There is nothing more important to many St. Paul residents than their children. Because they value their family, individuals work hard to provide a loving home and the support their children need.

Not all of these individuals may have the proper planning in place to provide support to their children in the long term, however. Without a proper estate plan in place, there can be negative consequences to the surviving children, even if the person leaves substantial assets behind.

One way individuals can ensure they will support their children for years to come is through trust planning. A trust can be set up to mirror the wishes of the parent for his or her child, by setting forth conditions for a trustee to follow in administering the trust.

For instance, it is often not advised for an 18-year-old child to receive all of the assets of the parent upon reaching the age of majority. Individuals at that age may not possess the maturity required to make good financial decisions. Accordingly, through a trust, parents can set conditions on the inheritance of the beneficiary, such as restricting the amount of assets that are available from the trust until the child reaches a certain age, or requiring that the assets pay for certain things like college.

In this sense, trusts can provide some more flexibility than a simple will. In order to determine what type of trust may be right for them, and how to best support their family in the long term, individuals should meet with a qualified estate planning attorney.

Source: Rushville Republican, "Estate planning: what you need to know," Kate Thurston, Feb. 7, 2014

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