Q&A - What if I don't feel my heirs are old enough to receive an inheritance yet?

Sometimes we have children or other heirs who shouldn’t receive an inheritance because they are not yet adults. And sometimes, while being an adult, the heirs simply have not yet demonstrated maturity in the handling of their own finances. The damage that can result from an inheritance that is received too early can be disastrous. Leaving a sizeable inheritance to an immature person here in Idaho is like giving gasoline and matches to a young child. It will end poorly.

In either scenario, the use of a Family Trust is an excellent way to accomplish two very important goals.

First, by the use of a Family Trust, your attorney can have the inheritance retained by a trusted person until the heir gains the years and experience that will hopefully yield a better outcome when the inheritance is actually transferred to the heir.

Second, under a trust crafted by a skilled lawyer in Idaho, you can also divvy out the inheritance in phases that will aid in teaching the heir how to handle the inheritance with wisdom. For example, an heir could be given 10% of the inheritance when he reaches age 22. Then another 20% at age 26 and the balance of the inheritance could be transferred at age 30. The heir may blow through the smaller gift at age 22, but will learn from the process. Likewise, they will learn even more with the larger share received at age 26. Then hopefully they will recall the life lessons learned at ages 22 and 26 and handle the bulk of the inheritance well when it is received at age 30.

With the help of an experienced attorney, you can turn a potentially dangerous inheritance into a valuable life lesson for those you love. As the book of Proverbs says, “A wise man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” If you are careful how you set up your inheritance for your children here in Idaho, that inheritance will grow and, in turn, be passed on to your grandchildren – a multi-generational blessing.

Daniel Patchin

Benjamin Monaghan