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How to set up a trust without ruining your kids

If you are like most parents, you want your money to go to your children after you die. It is your way of continuing to be there for them financially when you can’t be there physically.

Setting up a trust may seem the logical thing to do, but do it wrong, and you could do more harm than good to your children. These are some of the things to consider when setting up a trust for your children:

  • How you split the money between your kids: How would you feel knowing that your kids fell out with each other over the money you left them? Sadly, inheritance is one of the biggest causes of family disagreements. Dividing it equally among your children avoids arguments.
  • What age they get the money: Do your children need large sums of money when they turn 18? While they may technically be an adult at 18, most people do not have the maturity to manage large amounts of money at that age.
  • If your children can handle it: You may think leaving a lot of money for your children is a sign of love. However, if they can’t handle it, you could cause them a lifetime full of problems. Large amounts of free money can buy them access to a whole world of temptation and trouble.
  • One lump sum or a series of payments: One way to lower the risk of your child blowing the money up the wall is to drip-feed it over several years. Perhaps over their lifetime. By doing this, you can provide a nice financial cushion, even if it means they cannot buy the 50-meter yacht and Lamborghini.

Get your real estate planning right, and your children will thank you. Get it wrong, and you may wish you had given it to an animal sanctuary instead.