Introduction to Testamentary Trust

Question: I don’t have a lot, but my kids are too immature to get much of anything right now, how do I protect them?

Answer: You could include provision for a testamentary trust in your will. A testamentary trust is a trust that come into being only upon your death and only if the necessary circumstances exist, for example, if my children are under the age of twenty-five, then their share of my estate shall be held in trust for their benefit.

This type of trust will normally include specific circumstances for release of the funds, such educational purposes, healthcare or support of the child if necessary. You can also identify specific ages at which all or a portion of the trust assets are released to your children, for example have of the trust principal at age 30 and the remainder at the age of 35.

Creating a trust in these circumstances requires that you name a trustee. A trustee is the person you nominate to manage the assets of your trust (with advice from financial advisors and attorneys if necessary) and to decide when it is right circumstance to release money from your trust. Your trustee will hold this role until your youngest child reaches the age at which you determine the trust should end, so keep that in mind when identifying potential trustees.