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Texas parents with small children may need trusts

The last thing that any Texas parent may want to think about when they have young children is what would happen to those children if both parents died. Unfortunately, it is something that needs to be talked about, no matter how unpleasant the discussion may be for the family. When drafting estate planning documents where minor children are involved, trusts can be a helpful tool.

Having a trust can make sure that children are taken care of financially until they are adults. Trusts can also specify when a child is to have full access to their inheritance. Some children may not be prepared at the age of 18 to take on the responsibility of the money and assets they will inherit.

Trusts can be designed to require funds to be held in the trust until the children reach a certain age. It can even be different for each child. Distributions also don't have to be all at once. A trust can break down how much of an inheritance can be released to the beneficiary at certain times. For instance, distributions can be made at 18, 21, 30 or whatever ages the parents believe the child will be ready to handle the responsibility.

Having trusts can also protect a child's inheritance from taxes, creditors and from having to go through probate. Most Texas parents have an instinctive desire to make sure their children will be cared for even after they are gone. Creating trusts that are specific to each child's needs is a good way to make that happen. However, it is important that the documents be drafted by someone who knows and understands our state laws and how the documents are to be executed in order to ensure their validity.

Source: miamiherald.com, Age-old question: Do I need a trust?, Julie Landry Laviolette, Aug. 23, 2013

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