July 2018 – When we consider our Estate plans, most times we are ok leaving our money without any strings, but sometimes we have some legitimate concerns. What if our beneficiary is too young to be responsible, or has gambling or substance abuse issues, or simply is a spendthrift.  Perhaps we have a child in a relationship that’s deteriorating or on the verge of a breakup, in which case we may not want to give them a lump sum of money that may be divided in a breakdown settlement. Trusts can often be a great solution. We can set out how the trustee is to manage our money, and when and to whom to give our money.  While there are costs to setting up and maintaining a trust, alternatives using various no cost solutions offered by insurance companies may also address our concerns. An estate settlement transfer provides that our beneficiary will receive installments based on our instructions, rather than a lump sum cheque. Should situations change later, we can change the terms we’ve laid out, including the beneficiary(s), when and how our money will be paid, and also provide the flexibility that not all our beneficiaries have to be treated the same way. Both trusts and insurance solutions have pros and cons so its important to get good advice.