The Law Offices of Jeffrey G. Marsocci, PLLC logo - Estate planning attorney is Raleigh and Asheville, NC
The Plain English Attorney

And One BIG Reason to Keep Them Anyway

“But this doesn’t apply to us!” It’s common enough to see lots of language in trusts and other legal documents that are ‘boilerplate’ that should stay in anyway. In this blog, I review some of the most commonly questioned provisions and why they should be kept anyway, including the one BIG overriding reason.

I hear this all the time, “Well wait a minute, this doesn’t really reflect me.” It brings me back to the story many years ago when I worked with a couple and it was really rough because they kept digging into the language stating this doesn’t apply to them.

I kept trying to explain that it may not apply to you now but it could in the future, and it doesn’t affect anything staying in there. Then they stated but this is never going to happen. We are never going to have any other kids. Why should we include it?

This was a particularly special and important case because their one daughter was a beneficiary with special needs who really did have a high level of social anxiety, and hardly ever left the house. If she left the house it had to be with one of the parents. They were going through this trust – “Why is this about buying real estate for a beneficiary? We don’t need that. She’s never going to leave the house we live in now. She’s always going to be there. So why is this talking about buying trust property.” I said, “You don’t know what life’s going to bring.” “No, take it out.”

This was a case because they were so rough and they were so animated about it, and I knew they were so wrong that I printed out the trust and we did everything with handwritten notes and red ink and I kept it all. I kept all those drafts in paper format.

This is what happens when you take out what you believe to be Unnecessary Trust Provisions.

Around two years later they came back. “You did this trust wrong! We went to the bank and we’re trying to get a mortgage in order to purchase a piece of a house.”

Let me tell you the situation because remember now, they said their daughter was never going to leave the house that they live in. Well, their daughter had improved and was like 20 years old now. They had an opportunity to buy into a house where their daughter and other people with similar special needs were going to live together with a person being in the house full-time to help them and have classes to help them be more self-sufficient.

The person at the bank and their legal department said, “You screwed up because you didn’t have this language in there.” I told them to tell the bank to send me the language and they did so.

I sat down with them. Here is the language they wanted in the trust. And then I pulled out the drafts. And here is what you made me take out and right there in red is where I advised you not to.  But you made me take it out.

Please see the entire video here.

Trust Funding Webinar. FREE WEBINAR. It’s not enough to just have a revocable living trust and not ensure that your assets are coordinated with it to avoid probate. It’s like having the world’s best suitcase for your dream vacation, but failing to pack everything you need. In this webinar, I break down the biggest “trust funding fails” I have seen in my legal career. Trust funding doesn’t have to be a complicated mess when you know the basics and reasoning behind the different techniques.

Click to access the login or register cheese