My 2.5-year-old is swimming independently.
I’m not bragging when I tell you this because it actually terrifies my husband and me – along with most others who witness her most recent accomplishment.
Every time she goes near the water it’s my instinct to ask her to put her floaties on so that I can stay within the confinements of my own comfort level, and we can all relax and enjoy the water.
Her favorite thing to tell us as we attempt to position ourselves nearby in case she needs assistance is, “Go away.” (We’re working on that one!)
The thing is, she really is capable of swimming. She comes up for air when she needs to despite holding her breath for an abnormally long time for a toddler.
She jumps in, sinks all the way to the bottom, and then resurfaces in her own time.
But every child is different! What works for her absolutely did not work for my oldest child, now almost 5, who required one of us to be nearby at all times when she was learning to swim. While she was a cautious swimmer at first, she now swims like a fish.
Like all children, all families are unique too. All relationships develop differently.
For this reason, what is a perfectly good estate plan for one situation may be completely wrong for another.
While some may implicitly trust their loved ones to manage their affairs and assets, others may need to set boundaries for what can or cannot be done in the future.
There are a variety of mechanisms that can be used to achieve whatever the goal is – whether it be a more restrictive plan or one that takes a more hands-off approach. For example, we often include living revocable trusts in our plans where the beneficiaries may need a bit more oversight.
A living revocable trust allows the person setting up the trust to provide in advance the guidelines for what a beneficiary may and may not request trust funds, and otherwise set restrictions on how the trust assets can be used. A trustee is selected to manage the trust funds and carryout the terms of the trust.
Alternatively, an Enhanced Life Estate Deed (also called a “Ladybird Deed”) is a common planning tool used to pass real property outright to a beneficiary with no strings attached. It works great where the objective is to get the property to the person in an efficient manner but leaves no room for putting future restrictions on the property.
Where do you fall on the spectrum of “control”? Do you know?
During an initial estate planning consultation, we’ll discuss your individual goals as well as the needs of your loved ones. We’ll identify the best options for you and help you decipher the best way to get there.
The result is a custom-tailored plan that benefits you and your loved ones in a way that makes sense for you – whatever that may look like.
I have a feeling that I may need to get comfortable being uncomfortable with this one!
Amanda “Strong-Willed is an Understatement” Lynch Elliott