Season 14 of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” ended with Kandi Burruss at a bit of a standstill regarding her unfinished trust.
Burruss is set on creating an estate plan for her blended family, the Burruss-Tuckers, but after conversing with her mother, Mama Joyce, she left with many thoughts.
Kandi Doesn’t Want Todd To Remarry
Much has been made of Burruss not wanting her husband to remarry if she dies. The suggestion seems to have come from her mother. Joyce suggested Riley, Kandi’s biological daughter, receive more say-so and assets from Burruss’s divided estate. She also told Burruss to give her husband considerably less in case he remarries after her passing so they wouldn’t benefit from Burruss’ assets. Although Burruss seemed to understand where her mother was coming from, she expressed her primary concern was keeping her earnings and children’s inheritance safe.
Burruss has clarified that she doesn’t want him to legally remarry, but he can date people if something happens to her. “I wouldn’t marry again if something happened to him,” she tweeted. “I didn’t say he couldn’t date but marriage is a lot.”
Not Seeing Eye To Eye
While they have been discussing estate planning, Burruss and Ticker don’t see eye to eye on how to leave their assets to their four children (they have one son and one daughter together and each a daughter of their own).
Disagreements are common. Some parents want their assets to be divided equally, some want the children to have access at a certain age, other want assets to be given in a lump sum at time of death. The key is to discussing all sides.
“Completely satisfying both partners may not be possible, but there are tools that help ease concerns about how to distribute assets. If both spouses are open to making adjustments, the number of conflicting decisions can be reduced and the couple can appoint beneficiaries and decide asset distribution together,” according to the North Carolina Probate blog, which discusses probate, trust administration and taxation.
The best way to hash out conflicts is to go over the points of contention with an estate planning lawyer, who might offer agreeable solutions.
Like Burruss, if you’re looking to plan your estate or trust, Shaun Martin, an investment adviser and CEO of The Home Buying Company, suggests spending a little time understanding the purpose of a trust.
“A trust is a legal arrangement in which one person (the trustee) holds property for another person (the beneficiary),” Martin told Finurah. “The trustee has a fiduciary responsibility to manage the property in the best interests of the beneficiary. The purpose of the trust should be clearly defined in the trust document.”
Picking The Right Trustee
It’s also essential to choose the right trustee. This is someone who would manage the property and assets in the trust.
“Choose a trust who you trust to manage the property in accordance with the terms of the trust,” Martin explained. “The trustee should also be someone who is capable of handling the financial responsibilities of the trust.”
Spell it Out
After that, make sure you know exactly what you want in your trust, says Jennifer Spinelli, founder and CEO of Watson Buys. Ask yourself, what do you want to achieve with your estate plan?
“Some common goals may include providing for your family, minimizing taxes, protecting your assets, and ensuring your wishes are carried out,” she explained.
Although this may sound obvious, trusts must have money in them to be effective, so make sure you fund them. Someone must actually transfer the property that is supposed to be in the trust into the trust, which can be done through a deed or bank account transfer, Martin explained.
“Yet, even despite your best efforts, some assets might not be named to your trust after your passing,” Mark Pierce, co-owner of Cloud Peak Law Group tells Finurah. “As such, drawing a pour-over will is essential. With this, you guarantee that any assets not assigned to your trusts should be transferred over posthumously. Though they will still go through probate, they will regardless go to the people you intend at the end.”
Review Over Time
It’s also important to review your trust often to ensure it’s still meeting your needs. You should prioritize this if there’s been a drastic change in your life, like a marriage, divorce, a new baby, or death. Consulting with an attorney is key to creating a trust that matches your exact conditions.
“This will make sure everything that (and everyone) in your advance directive is taken into account and that any higher taxes or legislation that may affect your estate are taken into consideration,” Steve Rose, CEO of MoneyTransfers.com, told Finurah . “Additionally, it gives you the chance to check that the documents still accurately reflect your wishes.”
Attorneys are also great at helping you understand the complex tax implications of the trust so your trust is adequately funded.
It’s a good practice not to do your estate planning on your own, either. There are also a bunch of templates and online services you can use for your planning.
“It’s advisable to consult a legal professional at some step in the cycle to ensure you aren’t making any unexpected errors that could ultimately cost individuals you leave behind a lot of money,” Rose said.