Trusts, Asset Protection and Elder Law Firm
Do you want to make sure your children don’t harm themselves with the money you leave behind? And prevent that money from being accessed by their future creditors, predators and divorcing spouses?
I will show you how this is all possible if you read below:
I’m Brenda Geiger, the managing attorney at the Geiger Law Office. I’m so glad you decided to visit our web site and I want to share with you some ways I can be of assistance to you before we ever even meet. I have written many articles and a book on estate planning that can help you effectively and effortlessly plan your estate and protect your family. I have written these articles and my book out of necessity by my clients. I get asked about certain topics again and again, so I saw the need to share this information with you.
For access to my articles, simply click on the "Expert Advice" tab at the top of this page and click on the article(s) you are interested in. If you have come to our site because you are ready to schedule your Family Protection Planning Meeting™ with me, please fill out the “Contact Us” form by clicking on the "Contact" tab at the top of this home page and we will contact you right away. Or please feel free to give my office a call at (760) 448-2220 to schedule your appointment. If you have any questions before meeting with me, also please feel free to call and talk to any member of my staff.
If you are interested in learning more about my bio, simply click on the “About Us” tab above and click on "Attorneys" for more information. Although I serve a wide range of clients within the Trusts & Estates practice area, one segment of my practice is devoted to helping parents of minor children in addition to retirees and business owners. Nearly 70% of all parents with minor children have NO estate plan whatsoever. This means that if something happens to them, their children could be raised by someone they would never have wanted and that their assets will likely end up in the Probate court and what ever assets are left delivered to their children at the tender age of 18!
I’m a mother of two small children myself and this is why I am so passionate about protecting children. I have done the planning myself and I know what needs to be done to have peace of mind in knowing your kids are protected.
I’m glad you are here on our site and I look forward to giving you and your family solid legal advice and a long lasting personal relationship with a lawyer who truly cares. Below is an exerpt from my book "Safeguarding the Nest" on how you can asset protect the money you leave behind to your minor or adult children.
Protecting Your Children with Asset Protection Trusts Built into Your Revocable Trust
When leaving property to your children, you can choose exactly how you want to leave it to them. You can leave property outright, in trust until the beneficiary reaches a certain stated age or until they achieve a certain goal. Or the property can be held in trust for life. Any of these trust provisions can be included in your living trust to take effect upon your death. There is a special technique that allows us to "asset protect" the money you leave to your children for as long as you like, including for your child's lifetime. I have done this in my own trust to benefit my children and I always discuss this with my clients. Once they see the enormous gift this provides outside the actual monetary gift to their children, they are very surprised and excited by this option.
By drafting in provisions for lifetime continuing trusts for your children that spring into existence upon the death of the surviving spouse and by naming an "independent" trustee, we can protect the money you leave behind for your children from creditors, predators and future divorcing spouses. These trusts, if properly drafted, can:
(1) protect your child from blowing through all the money at a young age
(2) protect your child’s inheritance from his or her spouse in the event of a divorce;
(3) protect your child’s inheritance from his or her creditors in the event of a financial hardship; and
(4) on your child’s death, direct the unused assets to your grandchildren instead of in-laws.
During your child's lifetime, you can even have provisions that give them the option to be the sole trustee of their own continuing trust. They still have some asset protection by restricting their access to the IRS standard of Health, Education, Maintenance or Support (which is actually a very liberal standard for distribution). But I counsel my clients that should their child run into a creditor, lawsuit or divorcing spouse issue, their child should resign as trustee of their individual continuing trust and appoint a trustee who is not directly related to him or her or subordinate to him or her (that the new trustee is not their employee or working for them). By appointing someone who is unrelated (and also not working for them), we can get the highest level of asset protection. We get this asset protection because the trustee is considered to be independent and "discretionary.” This means that the trustee has the "discretion" whether or not to make a distribution to your beneficiary child from the trust that was drafted for their benefit.
This is a great way to give without "strings attached” or “ruling from the grave.” And when your child dies, the unused portion of their inheritance can be drafted to go to your grandchildren with the same asset protection provisions in place. If one of your children dies without leaving children of their own, then the trust funds go to their surviving brothers and sisters.
This type of continuing trust also makes it easier for your child to keep assets separate from their spouse when these assets are left to them in trust. Upon your death, all of your assets are re-titled directly from your trust to your child’s continuing asset protection trust (your child should consult with an attorney to help them with re-titling the assets). This allows your child to tell their spouse “my parents left this money to me in trust” versus them receiving the inheritance “in hand” and having to take active steps to keep those assets separate from their spouse.
The laws of California prohibit the creation of self-settled asset protection trusts. So, your children will not be able to protect these assets themselves without your help (unless they set up a self-settled asset protection trust in another state like Nevada and hire a Nevada Trustee--the cost to do that type of planning is on average about 3 times more than setting up a revocable living trust plan). But, you have the ability to give them the gift of asset protection by including lifetime continuing asset protection trusts in your revocable trust plan. If you are going to leave assets to them anyway, why not do some good planning for them today? Not only will they greatly appreciate what you’ve done for them, it will get them on the right track of planning for themselves and future generations.
About the Author, Brenda Geiger, J.D.
Brenda is a Trusts & Estates Attorney with her primary office located in Carlsbad, California (she also has satellite offices in Costa Mesa and La Jolla). Brenda graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law where she served as an Editor on the San Diego International Law Journal and published a scholarly paper in the Law Journal. Brenda is also a published author of many articles and a book on estate planning.
Brenda's 2nd Edition of “Safeguarding the Nest”was released in January of 2011 and is available at www.SafeguardTheNest.com. Her passion is helping families protect their children and keeping families out of the probate court process at incapacity and death. On a more personal note, Brenda is married to Len, the CEO of the San Diego-based web hosting firm WebIntellects, Inc. and they have two fun-loving children and two lovable German Shepherds.
For more valuable information on estate planning, go to www.safeguardthenest.com. To schedule a meeting with Brenda, call (760) 448-2220 or click on the "Contact" tab at the top of this page.