Trust and Estate Counsel

Tennessee Estate Planning Law

Insight and commentary on estate planning issues impacting affluent residents of Tennessee

Receiving Your Inheritance in Trust

If one of your parents is alive, you should consider asking your parent to give you any inheritance that you will receive in a beneficiary-controlled trust.

A properly designed beneficiary-controlled trust can provide protection from creditors, including divorced spouses, and from estate taxes upon your death. When discussing this matter with your parents, blame your attorney for raising the issue.

At my suggestion, one of my clients persuaded his mother to amend her Will to leave his future inheritance in a trust controlled by my client. The amendment did not affect the bequests to my client’s siblings. His mother died last year and the trust has been funded with approximately $800,000. My client is currently distributing cash from the trust to his son, who recently lost his job. This is not a taxable gift by my client. My client's son is in a low income tax bracket, which significantly reduces the income taxes payable with respect to the trust’s income.

The ability to divert income to a child without losing control of the assets is one of the many benefits from receiving your inheritance in a trust.