Common Trusts: Parenting Beyond the Grave
Parents strive to make their children feel equally valued as reflected in the fact that, when setting up an estate plan, parents typically divide their accounts and property equally among their children. But while parents strive to treat their children the same, they simultaneously acknowledge that children have different needs at different times. And these needs do not always correlate with perfectly equal dollar amounts. Should something happen to you and your accounts and property pass to your minor children in equal shares, there may not be enough money for each individual child’s expenses. Almost certainly, one child will require more funds than another. Instead of simply dividing your accounts and property equally among your children, you can place accounts and property in what is known as a pot trust or common trust with instructions for your trustee on how to spend the money and property on behalf of all the beneficiaries.