In my daily practice I get a lot of questions about the importance of wills and trusts. OC parents often fear they are showing a complete lack of faith in their children by stipulating how and when they can receive their inheritance when they are gone.

I read a similar story this week about Michael Jackson’s children. The article was entitled, “Michael Jackson’s Trust Lacks Trust in Kids,” and it basically explained how Jackson meticulously planned for his children to receive their inheritance in increments so they did not run into the financial problems he faced during his lifetime.

Yet contrary to the title of this article, having a trust does not mean Jackson lacked trust in his children!  Instead, he was acting in love and showing wisdom by NOT giving millions of dollars outright to his kids at the impressionable age of 18.

Study after study shows that an inheritance given outright to teenagers or young adults will ultimately be lost to bankruptcy, divorce, drug addictions or sheer overspending because kids at that age simply do not grasp the value of money and long-term living expenses.

So when it comes to the protection afforded to your family using wills and trusts, OC parents should not think twice about placing stipulations on their inheritance until their children are mature enough to handle the responsibility.

Plus, what parent doesn’t want to continue calling the shots from the grave?

Of course, if you have additional questions about the use of wills and trusts, OC residents can contact me at 949-260-1400 or set up a Family Wealth Planning Session ($750 value) free of charge with the mention of this blog post.  I am always happy to help parents in the OC set up an estate plan that’s right for them…..and their children, when they are gone.