One key reason to utilize a trust as part of your estate plan is to retain control of your assets –
particularly in light of any family strife that could ensue over who gets what assets now and/or when
you pass away.

For example, we’ve all heard stories about stepchildren and a surviving spouse going to court over a
wealthy widower’s estate. This is one of the problems inherent in today’s second and third marriages,
and why it’s so important to set up specific trusts to ensure that both your spouse and your children are

One such trust is the marital/bypass trust. This trust, becomes irrevocable upon a grantor’s
passing maps out your inheritance plan, cannot be changed by a surviving spouse, and eliminates the
possibility of any undue influence from your children, subsequent spouses, or external parties. Even if
your surviving spouse remarries and decides to leave their own assets to their second spouse, the
bypass trust would still pass assets intact to your children as intended.

Another key consideration in estate planning is the prospect of leaving all or a portion of your assets to a
young child – or even a young adult child not ready for the responsibility. This is a circumstance in which
a trust, administered by an appointed trustee, can be particularly advantageous to ensure your assets
are not mismanaged or lost precipitously.

In any situation where influence may play a role, you may wish to protect the assets you intend to leave
in a trust. The umbrella protection of trust also can help ensure that your assets are controlled and
managed by a trustee of your choosing, rather than by the child, who may be influenced by others.



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