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What does a testamentary trust do for a family?

It is not a subject that most people in Tennessee like to discuss or in general think about, but at some point in time it's an unfortunate fact that everyone will die. People die at all different ages and at different stages of life. Some die after living a long life, some die younger while they are still raising young children. However, in both situations people generally leave behind loved ones. Most people want to make sure that their property ends up in these loved ones hands.

One of the most common ways of doing this is by drafting a Will which states which individuals will keep their property when they are gone. Through a will, the property automatically passes as stated in the will. However, as stated above some people die while they are still raising young children. The parent may not want the child to actually have the money or assets until they are older as opposed to while they are still minors.

People in this situation can set up a testamentary trust in the will. This creates a trust at the time when the person dies. The money and assets would go into the trust and a trustee would manage the assets for the children until they reach the age designated in the will.

The trustee would make sure that the children are cared for with the money in the trust until that point. The children just would not be able to spend it on whatever they would like while the money and assets are in the trust. Testamentary trusts can also be useful for people who have disabled family members.

People in Tennessee do not know when they will die. The hope is that it will be after they have lived a long, full life, but this is not always the situation. It is important for people with young children to know how they ensure that their children will be taken care of if they die. One effective tool for doing this is by placing a testamentary trust in their will. It is important to draft these correctly though and experienced attorneys may be able to assist.

Source: estate.findlaw.com, "Placing a Testamentary Trust in a Will" accessed on October 4, 2017

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James H. Snyder Attorney at Law
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