“The idea of a trust is so familiar to us all that we never wonder at it. And yet surely we ought to wonder. If we were asked what was the greatest and most distinctive achievement performed by Englishmen in the field of jurisprudence I cannot think that we could have any better answer to give than this, namely, the development from century to century of the trust idea.”
–Professor F. W. Maitland (1850-1906)
“He trusted neither of them as far as he could spit, and he was a poor spitter, lacking both distance and control.”
–P. G. Wodehouse, Money in the Bank (1940)
So, just imagine this. It’s Friday at 4:30 and your receptionist announces that Hans von Crabby & his wife Heidi, have “stopped in”, and wondered if you were busy. You’ve been trying to get Hans’ estate planning ever since you moved to Hog Waller and joined the LastStableinBethlehem Lutheran Church. The owner of 12 farms (last time you counted), and notoriously controlling, Hans enters your office, trailed by Heidi. You say you’ll stay ‘til Monday, if needed.
The discussion turns to their 8 children, all of whom left home at age 17, never to return. But Hans says he holds no grudges. He just doesn’t want them to get their legacy until they reach 78 years. If he has to use a trust, as you suggest, they aren’t to ever see what the trust says, because one of them is to only get $1,000, and nothing else. A dark beer awaits. What’s your solution?