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We have revocable trusts set up for our two sons. The trusts also provide for any grandchildren that may come on the scene.

We learned to do this because MDH's parents gave 25% of their estate to each of our two boys. This nicely paid college tuition, including grad school, for them, as well as giving them enough to buy a starter home when they feel the urge.

The trusts have a provision that said neither boy could spend any of the money until they reached 25. Until then, MDH serves as trustee and paid college costs and living expenses while they were in college. (Actually, it was a little more complicated than that. Each boy gains access to 1/3 of the trust assets at 25, another 1/3 of the assets at 30 and the rest of the assets at 35. MDH, as trustee, will override those provisions as he sees fit - probably long before they turn 30.)

We became a believer in trusts after settling my sister's estate in California. She died intestate and probate was a real bear from long distance.

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