In a conversation with a widowed client with four children she told us about her hope to protect and provide for her disabled daughter. We created a supplemental needs trust for her daughter to be funded at our client's death and assisted her in finding a professional trustee to manage the funds for her daughter's benefit.
In further discussion, the client expressed her concerns about her other three children. All were gainfully employed and married with children. Two had also all pursued more altruistic careers as teachers and social workers, of which my client was very proud. The third had a number of failed attempts at starting businesses and had a rocky marriage. For all, our client worried about their financial well-being, whether as the result of the inability to save much for retirement or to pay for education for their children, or, her biggest fear, in the event of divorce.
The solution involved creating what we call a "family protection trust" for each child. The trusts will be managed by the same trustee who is managing the special needs trust for the daughter with disabilities and will provide for the other children and grandchildren as needed. The trusts, however, will be protected from the poor financial decisions of the children, from their creditors, and in the event of divorce.
The client is resting easier knowing that she will be able to leave all of her children a cushion for their retirement or whatever they may face in life.