I don’t want my sister-in-law to get her $1.5 million cut – what should I do?

Dear Newsweek, Our mother passed away last year leaving an inheritance of approximately $300,000 to be given to each of 5 siblings. Due to some legal issues, none of this has been distributed by the trustees, my sister and brother. These problems are resolved within a few months.

My brother, one of the trustees, died recently leaving his widow in her 70s broke due to her spending habits. We love our sister-in-law, but she doesn’t know how to handle money and will squander it quickly if it’s given to her all at once. Morally we think she is entitled to it, but is there a way we can give it to her children in small installments, or is there a way that we surviving siblings can set up a legal entity to hold it? and give it to her in steps? If she doesn’t get it the same way the rest of us do, she’ll be angry. She has the SS and his small pension to live on. Her house has been refinanced multiple times to pay for credit cards, so I’m afraid there is little equity in the house.

What can we do? Thanks in advance for your help.

Nils, unknown

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Stock images. Estate. woman wastes money Neil has reached out to Newsweek for advice on how to help her sister-in-law not squander her inheritance.
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Read the Trust Docs and see what they say

Andrew M. Lieb, Managing Partner of Lieb at Law.

What a difficult situation and I’m sure you’re not the only one feeling stressed about this; Allowing your parents’ money to go to waste is an emotional challenge.

However, when it is a trust, the terms of the trust determine what happens to the money from the trust. So other beneficiaries can’t change who gets money from the foundation, no matter how good-naturedly motivated you are. That is, perhaps your sister, who is the trustee or acting trustee for your late brother, has the power to limit distributions in the trust documents.

Often a trustee is granted such power in the trust. You should therefore read the Trust documents and see what they say. In the case of trusts, legal advice without examining the documents is like a medical consultation during a break without first examining the x-ray. Much luck.

It may be possible to protect the trust funds and support the sister-in-law

Family Law Attorney Sabrina Shaheen Cronin, Founder and Managing Partner of The Cronin Law Firm.

Distributing the assets contained in a trust after the death of a loved one can sometimes present a unique set of challenges, such as: B. the predicament presented in this matter. In general, a well-written trust document will provide guidance to the trustees as to their ability to control and distribute the assets of the trust. For example, some trust deeds give trustees the ability to allocate assets as they see fit, taking into account the circumstances. This type of language can empower the trustee to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries as they see fit; be it in a lump sum, in installments, or in an entirely separate trust designed to support the beneficiaries. In the event that the trust does not contain the language that gives the trustee broad powers, but instead contains strict instructions as to who the funds are to be distributed to, how and when, the wealth distribution process can become more complex.

In this particular scenario, if the trust allows the trustees to distribute the funds as they see fit, it may be best to set up a separate trust with the funds to be used to support her sister-in-law. However, doing so may expose the trust to additional scrutiny and potential litigation if she feels the need to challenge the trustees’ decisions in court. In the event that the trust deed does not give the trustees such sweeping authority and the family genuinely believes that their sister-in-law is incompetent or unable to provide for themselves, it may be worth consulting an experienced probate attorney to establish one to obtain guardianship over the sister-in-law. In principle, family members can apply to the probate court for guardianship of individuals who may not be able to support themselves or support themselves, particularly in cases where there is evidence of intellectual disability. If this is the case, an experienced probate attorney who is knowledgeable about guardianship matters can help the family move forward and potentially gain guardianship and control of the sister-in-law’s finances and ultimately the inheritance under the trust.

Another possibility could be for one of the sister-in-law’s children to have power of attorney over her finances. As long as a permanent Power of Attorney or Financial Power of Attorney is properly drafted and executed under state law, it could give one of the sister-in-law’s children the ability to oversee their finances and control expenses. This would of course have to be agreed voluntarily by the sister-in-law and would require the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney.

In summary, depending on the specific terms of the trust and the laws of the state where the trust is administered, it may be possible to protect the trust funds and support the sister-in-law to ensure she can continue living comfortably and worry-free. In any case, it is a loving and kind gesture on the part of the late brother’s siblings to ensure that his surviving wife is cared for from funds they may not necessarily have to give her. Neil mentions that the inheritance should have been distributed a while ago. He doesn’t mention what legal problems prevented the distribution or whether the trust gives instructions on whether a deceased sibling’s spouse is entitled to an inheritance. Many facts that remain unknown could significantly affect the outcome. Neil states that they all feel it’s the moral right thing to do; and when everyone is aligned, things generally run a lot smoother.”

https://www.newsweek.com/wsid-inheritance-sister-law-money-finances-family-death-1787012 I don’t want my sister-in-law to get her $1.5 million cut – what should I do?

Rick Schindler

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