My sister and her husband were looking for a house near my house so that I could help with their newborn baby while they work. We were fortunate to find a house that was up for sale or available to rent. The owner said that he would allow them to purchase the home through him using an owner financing agreement. This made me a little nervous because I had read a few stories about people getting ripped off using this method of home buying. That is why I paid for my sister to have a real estate attorney to work with. Visit our blog to learn what to look for in owner financing agreements to protect yourself from loss.
When you know that your parents have created a trust fund for you, it is difficult to think of anything else and even more difficult to wait for it. This may be the very reason why your parents set up trust funds for you and your siblings; to teach you patience and/or wait for you to gain emotional maturity. Whatever your parents' reasons, you know the trust fund is there. However, you cannot talk to your parents' trusts lawyer to find out anything about the trusts. Here are some reasons why.
Lawyer/Client Confidentiality Agreement
You are not a client of the lawyer, but your parents are. That means that the agreement for legal services between your parents and the trust lawyer bind the lawyer from discussing the trusts with anyone other than your parents. The lawyer and client confidentiality agreement can only be altered if your parents agree to include you in the estate planning process and give legal permission for their lawyer to share information with you. This binding agreement is universal, regardless of which type of lawyer you hire.
The Protection of Trusts
Unless your parents have arranged for living trusts, all other types of trust funds and assets are protected and secured under trust establishment laws. This means that no one, not even your siblings, can view trust account information. Only your parents and their lawyer can view this information. Trusts make sure that all inheriting parties are kept in the dark until the establishers of the trusts (your parents) are both deceased.
If only one parent establishes the trusts, and that parent passes away, you may be able to view the accounts. However, if your remaining parent lives, and the condition of your inheritance is that both parents have to pass away before you get your trust account, it creates an awkward scenario where you can see the trust account, ask for information, but not touch it until the other parent is gone. This ensures that the wishes of the original trust establisher (i.e., your deceased parent) are carried out, even in his or her absence.
Trusts Break up Estates Without Breaking up Families
The objective of trusts is to dole out inheritances from the family estate according to how your parents would intend to give assets and property if they were still alive. Keeping you and your siblings out of the loop prevents court room drama and fights now if you and your siblings disagree about what has been given to you. A secondary objective of trusts is to keep families together and in reasonable harmony until after the parents are deceased. Because you and your siblings do not know what you will inherit, you do not fight about what you will receive. A lawyer keeps all of this information private until the appointed time.
Contact a firm, like Thomason & Hessmer, for more information.