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By Jason Carrozza

Hi Everyone,

Happy Wednesday!!! Now that Fall is upon us and people are settling back into their routines, our seminar season has commenced. Last Thursday, I had a full house at the Norfolk Public Library and we have other events coming up. Be sure to check out our events to see where Jason and I will be speaking at in October and November.

This week we are talking about money and personal responsibility. Let’s face it, sometimes the ones we love aren’t necessarily the best with money. Frequently, I am asked, “how do I make sure my kids don’t blow their inheritance?” It’s actually a complicated question. Besides education, and encouraging personal responsibility, typically people with this concern will leave their children’s inheritance in trust. This prevents the child from going to the bank and doing whatever they’d like with the funds. Below are a few key estate planning techniques you can utilize in your trust to provide the greatest protection for your children.

  1. Make somebody other than your child the trustee: Just because you leave money for your child does not necessarily mean that they should have free access to those funds at any time. Choose a Trustee that you believe will be fair and reasonable and is willing to distribute your child’s funds when, and only when, appropriate.
  2. Consider using a H,E,M,S Standard: Health, Education, Maintenance, and Support – Be sure your trust states that your children may only have access to their trust funds for purposes of their health, education, maintenance, or support. This prevents the Ferrari in the driveway or the crazy around the world vacations.
  3. Distribution Blocking Provision: These typically state that if your child is ever addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, is being sued, or is at risk for a divorce, that the Trustee may not pay out and must halt distributions until the threat passes. This is a very effective way to ensure your money isn’t squandered on addiction or a law suit of any kind.

If you are concerned that your children, or any beneficiary for that matter, cannot handle an inheritance, you should be sure that your trust has these above mentioned features. You’ve worked hard so that there is an inheritance, you want to be sure that it doesn’t disappear instantly once you’re gone.

If you want to be sure that your estate plan is protecting your legacy to its fullest, please contact us today.

About the Author
Jason M. Carrozza is a partner and founder of Family Legal Partners, P.C., previously owning Carrozza Law Office, P.C., which focused on estate planning, probate administration, and business formation. He was recognized as a Massachusetts Rising Star by New England Super Lawyers and Boston Magazine in 2014, 2015, and 2016, an honor given to no more than 5% of attorneys in the state. Graduating magna cum laude from New England Law and ranked 3rd in his class, Jason completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Tampa. He gained experience in civil litigation, divorce, corporate, and insurance defense law firms before opening his practice in 2004. Jason is admitted to practice before the Massachusetts Courts, is a trained family law mediator, and a member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation. He has volunteered for pro bono panels with Senior Partners For Justice, South Middlesex Legal Services, and the New Center for Legal Advocacy. Dedicated to his community, he has served in various leadership roles including vice president of the Bellingham Business Association and Master of Excelsior Lodge of Massachusetts Freemasons. He teaches Estate Planning Basics at the Tri County Continuing Adult Education program and speaks at estate planning seminars throughout the year. An avid baseball fan and history enthusiast, Jason enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with his family. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Katrina, and their children, Zachary and Madelyn.