Experience the Difference Our Firm Can Make Get in Contact

Wichita Estate Planning Attorney Explains Principle Trusts

Weber Law May 10, 2016

Did you know that when you plan your estate, you have a variety of choices available to you as far as how to make gifts to your loved ones? Trusts are one category of estate planning tools, and within the general category of trusts, there are more specific options, the various types of trusts, which can each be used to accomplish specific estate planning goals. Principle trusts are a type of trust, and if you are not yet familiar with what a principle trust is, learning about them can help you decide whether a principle trust would help you accomplish any of your estate planning goals or whether other types of estate planning tools would work better for you. A Kansas estate planning lawyer can help you determine your estate planning goals and select the estate planning tools that will best help you to accomplish them.

If one of your goals in estate planning is to encourage your heirs to live responsibly without necessarily adhering to a set of rigid guidelines, a principle trust might be an appropriate choice for you. Like other types of trusts, principle trusts are managed by a trustee. Trustees don’t get to manage trusts according to their personal values; they must abide by the directions that you specify. With a principle trust, you would provide your trustee with a set of guiding principles (hence the name) that they would then use to manage the assets that are in the trust. This set of principles is less rigid than the strict set of rules that a settlor would provide to a trustee of an incentive trust.

Because there is more room for interpretation with a principle trust, trustee selection involves not just choosing someone that you can trust, but also someone who is comfortable managing by using your guiding principles to help them make decisions rather than having clear, strict rules in place to drive their choices. Some examples of principles that could be used to manage a principle trust are higher education, health and fitness, philanthropy, or employment. Using principles instead of strict rules to establish guidelines for trustee decisions encourages the values that you seek to instill in your beneficiaries while at the same time encouraging them to be themselves and choose how they live out those values.

Some people will find that creating a principle trust feels like a great way to accomplish their estate planning objectives. Other people might learn about principle trusts and feel like they would prefer specific conditions under which distributions may be made. Many factors can cause your feelings to move in either direction, such as availability and willingness of a suitable trustee, the general disposition of the beneficiaries, the interactions between family members, and so on. Talking with a Kansas estate planning attorney can help you decide whether a principle trust is a good choice for you.

When you are planning your estate, a Kansas Estate Planning Attorney can help you determine your goals and make a plan that will accomplish them. To learn more about estate planning in Kansas, call the Wichita law office of J. Joseph Weber, P.A. or contact us through our website to arrange an initial consultation.