Not all trusts are created equal, especially when it comes to protection in a divorce.
Trusts are like pocket knives, in a way. Even a fairly basic pocket knife can make your life immensely easier, especially in a pinch, but a particularly well built and expansive pocket knife is an actual survival tool.
When it comes to trusts, however, why settle for a basic trust when a robust trust can provide essential protection for your loved ones?
A recent New Jersey case illustrates the difficult space between divorce and the trust, and that’s one more area where a robust trust can make all the difference.
Depending on how you’ve structured it, a trust can last for varying lengths of time and offer the beneficiary/child various ways of accessing those funds. You might use this to teach lessons, for
example, but don’t forget that you’re not always planning for the budding child but also the future adult. Unfortunately, that future adult may have creditors who could attempt an attack on the trust funds.
More likely, however, is that a divorce and an ex-spouse will come into play, perhaps also children and child-support. How the courts treat your trust depends on numerous factors best considered at the formation and worthy of your consideration at that time.
For more ideas (and at least one promising court case) read the original article. In the end, as with so many planning devices, everything hinges entirely on you, your family, and your unique circumstances.
Reference: Financial Planning Magazine (February 1, 2012) “Trust, But Verify”
Holden Campbell, LLC - Annapolis Estate Planning Attorneys