Stites on Estates

Tag Archives: irrevocable trusts

Designing Incentive Trusts: Adam Smith and The Wealth of Beneficiaries

Posted in Estate Planning, Life Cycle Estate and Financial Planning, Trust Administration
Certainly one of Adam Smith’s core insights in The Wealth of Nations was that incentives matter. I believe examples are everywhere about how Smith was correct – ranging from California water shortages and student loan debt, to tax policy and white collar crime. If incentives matter in these areas, shouldn’t they matter in designing trusts that maximize successful outcomes for… Continue Reading

Design Options for Education Trusts

Posted in Estate Planning, Life Cycle Estate and Financial Planning, Trust Administration
I often work with “Wealth Creators” who have built substantial wealth themselves, most notably as founders of companies or early-stage employees at startups. I also work with “Inheritors” managing wealth built in prior generations for the benefit of descendants. Although every instance has unique aspects, in general, I find that Wealth Creators have conflicted feelings about what being… Continue Reading

Adapt an Irrevocable Trust to a New Family Situation With Decanting

Posted in Asset Protection, Estate Planning, Trust Administration
It’s not uncommon for an old irrevocable trust to no longer fit a family’s circumstances, for the simple reason that Yogi Berra was right when he noted that “It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.” Trusts provide advantages, including protection from creditors, divorce, or spendthrift behavior. To obtain these advantages, trusts place restrictions… Continue Reading