In this increasingly complex life we are living, more and more answers to mature people’s important questions tend to start with, “It depends…” Our year-old family trust directs the surviving spouse to make an appointment with an estate attorney, because which one among the available courses of action written into the trust is the best one will depend on the situation at that moment. Portability? Disclaimer? Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) trust? Credit Shelter trust? It depends. In our case, that came after we struggled over the decision whether or not we needed a trust at all. In your case? …it depends. One thing is very clear: if you have set up a family trust more than a couple of years ago and you don’t see the word “portability” in any of the text or discussion notes, it’s time to make an appointment with an attorney for an update conversation. And if you don’t? It depends… Keep in mind that a relationship with a financial planner can prove invaluable, to help you clarify your needs, wants, and wishes to the point where you can decide with your attorney which legal choices your will and your trust …if you do one… should be available to beneficiaries and trustees who depend upon you.
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