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Old 12-24-2015, 07:00 AM   #61
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I would leave the oldest son in charge. If they both live near you, joint executorship can also work.
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Old 12-24-2015, 08:53 AM   #62
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Your money your choice. Do you want to do a special needs trust for the special daughter? You could have the sons as trustees or all three other kids. How do you feel about the unemployed daughter? Is she doing what is best for herself like married and raising children or just lazy, would she benefit for inheritance? What do you think would happen to the special daughter if you weren't here? If her brothers and sister's would take care of her you could leave her 1/4 into a trust and each other 1/4 th so her share could pay her rent or for mental health treatment or just extras if she lives in a institution like hair cuts. If you leave out one of your typical three they will all learn to hate each other or think you were unfair and the others owe them.
Just remember that there are no "trust police". You can put rules or requirements in a trust document....just like an executor can (literally) do almost anything with the funds in your estate. It's up to someone else to challenge the executor and bring a legal action against them if they aren't doing what they are supposed to do. So don't assume that just because you put whatever in your trust that it has some magical powers to make it so - so make sure you have full confidence in your choice of executor, because it would take someone with a strong backbone to challenge them and enforce justice if they aren't doing what they are supposed to be doing...
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:14 AM   #63
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Just remember that there are no "trust police". You can put rules or requirements in a trust document....just like an executor can (literally) do almost anything with the funds in your estate.
DW served as a trustee for her mother and I was amazed at the opportunity for an unscrupulous trustee to enrich themselves. Aside from filing tax returns, there was no monitoring or reporting required at all.
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Old 12-24-2015, 04:34 PM   #64
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My father told me everything and I am the co-trustee on his accounts with my mother (for whom I am also co-trustee). None of my siblings have any authority over my parents' estates. I am a practicing attorney with substantial assets of my own (unlike my siblings), so my father trusted me to care for his assets and my mother's financial well-being now that he has passed away.

As for my assets, my kids are both still in single digits. We live comfortably (by choice), but are surrounded my often great displays of wealth. My kids will both learn when - and if - I deem them ready. Assets are in trust for the next few decades, so hopefully they will both learn fiscal responsibility before gaining access.


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Old 12-26-2015, 05:16 PM   #65
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I think that there are 2 types of kids: those who were raised so that they can take care of themselves and those who always need help. Based on your personal views of honesty and ability to live on their own of your kids you do your decision. I hope we raised our son be able to take care of himself and his family therefor he knows where to look for info about our assets.

As those with multiple children can tell you, how they were raised is only part of it. You can to everything in your power to raise a financially responsible child and fail. We have three adult children. Two are very responsible and one only lives in the present and is a financial train wreck. All three kids had the same parenting and life lessons. (And we love all three)
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:47 PM   #66
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Just remember that there are no "trust police". You can put rules or requirements in a trust document....just like an executor can (literally) do almost anything with the funds in your estate. It's up to someone else to challenge the executor and bring a legal action against them if they aren't doing what they are supposed to do. So don't assume that just because you put whatever in your trust that it has some magical powers to make it so - so make sure you have full confidence in your choice of executor, because it would take someone with a strong backbone to challenge them and enforce justice if they aren't doing what they are supposed to be doing...

DH's uncle was the trustee for the grandparent's trust. The uncle and DH's mother were the only children. The trust was written for half of the assets to pass to the grandchildren if DH's mother predeceased the grandparents.

DH's mother died from complications of Parkinson's several years before the last grandparent died. The uncle proceeded to have the last grandparent sign away assets to him. When the last grandparent finally died at the age of 96, the uncle refused to provide an accounting of the assets of the estate. There was a beachfront apartment and a house in the Midwest, along with quite a bit of blue chip stocks, amount unknown.

Remember, the uncle was the trustee of the estate.

DH's siblings (total of four grandchildren) were initially reluctant to engage in a legal battle with the uncle, but were forced to eventually hire an attorney. The first attorney was incompetent, but by the time that was determined, a year had already passed. The next attorney recommended arbitration, since it was apparently impossible to prove that the grandparent was not aware of what documents had been signed giving the uncle ownership of property.

The siblings were completely bamboozled by their uncle, who would only agree to pay each of them a set amount, without revealing the size of the estate. And, like Moorebonds said, there has to be someone willing to challenge the trustee. In their case, no one had the stomach to challenge what was occurring, and were heartbroken that it was a blood relative who cheated them out of at least a clear accounting of the assets.
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Old 12-26-2015, 09:16 PM   #67
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DH's uncle was the trustee for the grandparent's trust.
Remember, the uncle was the trustee of the estate.

DH's siblings (total of four grandchildren) were initially reluctant to engage in a legal battle with the uncle, but were forced to eventually hire an attorney. The first attorney was incompetent, but by the time no one had the stomach to challenge what was occurring, and were heartbroken that it was a blood relative who cheated them out of at least a clear accounting of the assets.
As Ben Franklin once said,"To know the true character of a person, inherit with them".
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Old 12-27-2015, 06:42 AM   #68
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I am a CPA, and I have heard way to may horror stories about the child and older adults - So, No way in He--.


I keep things completely out of the preview and have my Will, Trusts and Attorney deal will it when the time comes.
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:31 AM   #69
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I am of the opinion to tell my three grown children everything and how it is split before we leave this side.
No secrets lay it out in front of them in a few years once we retire. They pretty much have an idea what we have but not all the details. No whining or bickering we plan on being transparent and who gets what. The one that is irresponsible or has a drug habit gets nothing.
We have some acreage that has been in the family long time and struggle how to pass that along.


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How much do you let your adult children know about your finances.
Old 12-27-2015, 10:08 AM   #70
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How much do you let your adult children know about your finances.

Isn't there some bit of confirmation bias here with the bad stories? Of course that's all you think of, no one ever has a good story about where their kids know the financials and nothing bad happens!! There's no story!

My brother and I have known most of our parents' financials since college. My family is open to my parents, in laws, brother, and they reciprocate. Is there no trust left? If they aren't executors or agents to the funds, what is the harm here? Can't this all be used as a tool to teach?
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Old 12-27-2015, 10:30 AM   #71
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I am of the opinion to tell my three grown children everything and how it is split before we leave this side.
No secrets lay it out in front of them in a few years once we retire. They pretty much have an idea what we have but not all the details. No whining or bickering we plan on being transparent and who gets what. The one that is irresponsible or has a drug habit gets nothing.
We have some acreage that has been in the family long time and struggle how to pass that along.


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If there is emotional attachment, land can be a difficult one. My best friend's dad is splitting the farmland up 3 ways with other 2 having no interest in keeping it. My friend is determined to buy them and out and keep the farm together. This will stress his finances quite a bit when it happens. But chances are the whole problem will just repeat itself as he has 2 children himself and it will more than likely be split again.


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Old 12-27-2015, 01:43 PM   #72
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Isn't there some bit of confirmation bias here with the bad stories? Of course that's all you think of, no one ever has a good story about where their kids know the financials and nothing bad happens!! There's no story!

My brother and I have known most of our parents' financials since college. My family is open to my parents, in laws, brother, and they reciprocate. Is there no trust left? If they aren't executors or agents to the funds, what is the harm here? Can't this all be used as a tool to teach?

Papa bear, there are plenty of families that don't fight over assets when an estate is being settled. My father's estate was settled fairly and equitably among myself and five siblings with little to no drama, and my Dad made a point of talking about finances and his net worth to all of us all our lives.

My older sister was the executor of the estate; I doubt it would have occurred to any of us to question how she was dividing and liquidating the assets because we all knew her to be trustworthy, a key component when selecting a trustee!

So, Dad chose well.

I told the story of DH's family and what happened when the trustee was not trustworthy as a real life example of what can go wrong. His family was an otherwise loving and functional group of people. Believe me, they were all surprised and upset over what happened.

Apparently, DH's uncle felt he was due the bulk of the estate, and he devised a way to get it.
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Old 12-27-2015, 04:11 PM   #73
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Isn't there some bit of confirmation bias here with the bad stories? Of course that's all you think of, no one ever has a good story about where their kids know the financials and nothing bad happens!! There's no story!
Well, there are plenty of good stories of course but the point of all this is to do what one can to make sure it doesn't become a bad story.

I handled my mother's estate and it simply never occurred to me to try to cheat my two sisters. To create a lifetime of bad feelings wasn't worth anything, and it would have been repugnant to me anyway. I wanted to show them the documentation for the numbers I was giving them but they weren't interested in going over that stuff. Both said they knew I wouldn't cheat them. So I guess Mom chose well.
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