Trusts & Estates Law/What to do



I realize after dealing with a couple of people passing that the easiest thing to do is put things in people's name direct and avoid probate completely. Still my issues deal with children/grandchildren and having a problem choosing a person for a trust.

First I would love to know the term that I can put someone's name to inherit my house but they have no control over it until I pass away.  My grandmother did this for me to avoid problems; however I have no idea what it was she did besides I inherited it when she passed away.

I would like to leave a home for my significant other to live in for his life, and would like to leave other homes to my grandchildren but at specific ages say 35 years old but don't want their parents in charge.  I would put things in a trust but not sure who to leave in charge because some are too soft, and others to selfish.  I am not a millionaire so a bank wouldn't do it.

ANSWER: Your significant other is easy - just leave him the house in your will (unless you want other relatives to get it at his death - which only a trust can provide)You could leave him a life estate which guarantees that he can live there for his life but then the property passes to someone else.  

You cannot leave property to a minor, not stipulate that someone inherit property without a trust. You certainly can find a trustee if look hard enough.  An attorney, cpa, financial adviser can do it.  It is clear that you need an estate plan, professionally done. A local attorney should be able to help you. Depending on what state you are in, I may be able to help.


David Disraeli

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QUESTION: Thank you David there was still one question not answered and maybe I didn't ask it correctly?  As I stated before I was left property, my name was on it in such a way that when my grandmother passed away it went directly to me, but I had no real ownership until her passing.  What is this legal thing my grandmother did?  I was told by the taxes people that I never owned it until she passed, but didn't catch what the term was.  Thank you.

ANSWER: Very simple, she left it to as a beneficiary in her will.

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QUESTION: No its not very simple she didn't leave it to me in a will at all.  That is what I am asking you, I inherited the house by her doing something legally that my name was on the house, but I wasn't an owner until she passed away.

This isn't a riddle not trying to be a pain just trying to figure out what legal thing my grandmother did, putting a name on a home but it doesn't become theirs until the death of the owner...what is this?

Oh sorry the other way is through joint ownership.  She changed the deed.  This bypasses the whole probate system so you don't need a will and even if you have and will, the will does not control, just like a joint bank account.  It has to be Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship.

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David Disraeli


I can answer general questions about estate planning and trusts. I can also answer questions about estate tax reduction and advanced charitable giving, family partnerships and asset protection. I may have already answered your question here: or here


I have worked for 24 years with clients and their attorneys to formulate estate plans to meet client goals. I have found many mistakes made by client attorneys and were able to have them corrected. I focus on making sure that beneficiaries are protected from current or future spouses and lawsuits so the wealth stays in the family. I have also published a book on Aging Parents which can be found on Amazon

President and founder of The Personal CFO Inc.


Certified Financial Planner 1994

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