Also, if you fear both parents dying while you child is too young to handle money (for some, this can go far into adulthood), a trust would name a trustee and whatever conditions or limitations you might want to impose (such as the age of final distribution)I think this is the primary reason we would want a trust. I think I would have been ill equipped to handle 6 or 7 figures when I was in my 20s and I know I'm better than most.Actually, no, the primary reason is not that your daughter would be too young to handle the money. The primary reason for the trust (and it could be set up via the will or set up now) is that you want to protect both your wife's lifetime exemption as well as yours when passing the entire estate to your daughter. Assuming you will have a large enough estate to worry about estate taxes, when the first spouse dies, the entire estate will pass to the surviving spouse, but the lifetime exemption is then lost because there is no limit on the size of the estate that can be passed to a spouse without triggering estate taxes. However, when that spouse dies and everything goes to the daughter, only the lifetime exemption of that last spouse is used before estate taxes are due, so you have lost the first exemption.So if you have a $10million estate, and you die, your wife inherits your half of it without estate taxes, but your $5 million exemption is not used. When she dies, your daughter then inherits that $10 million estate, but there is a $5 million exemption from your wife, and so your daughter owes taxes on the additional $5 million. If, however, you had left your half to a trust when you died, your #5 million exemption is used up. When your wife dies, her $5 million exemption is then used, and daughter has now inherited that $10 million without having to pay estate taxes because both exemptions were used.There are other reasons to use a trust including that your affairs remain private where the terms of a will are public, it is very difficult to contest a trust since the terms are not public, and you don't have to go through probate.We have had a trust since the kids were 3 years old mostly to keep our affairs private and to avoid probate.There are multiple ways to handle this, and an estate planning attorney is your best bet.
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