David Bowie, the rock icon and fashion chameleon, passed away recently after a brief battle with cancer. Bowie, a personal favorite of mine, blessed us with a lengthy catalogue of classic albums while amassing a $100 million estate for his efforts. In addition to his vast wealth, Bowie left a wife, super-model Iman, and two children, one of whom is only 15 years old. Thankfully, his estate plan will ensure his family legacy.
Estate planning for minor children is one of the most important things a parent can do to ensure the long-term wellbeing of a family. According to reports on CNN.com, Bowie did it right. After leaving half his estate to Iman and 25% to his adult son, Bowie left property in New York and 25% of his wealth to his 15 year old daughter in Trust until she turns 25.
This means that she won’t inherit millions when she turns 18 as would happen if he just used a simple will, and her inheritance will be managed by a Trustee that Bowie chose specifically for the job rather than having a judge appoint someone. The assets in Trust will also be protected from creditors and will not affect her in applying for college financial aid (though she obviously doesn’t need it).
While the vast majority of us have no where near the assets that Bowie left behind, his plan for his daughter is instructive to all of us. Using a Trust to ensure your children have their inheritance protected and controlled by a responsible party until there are mature enough to handle it themselves makes sense to matter your net worth. Trust planning is NOT just for the rich, though the rich know enough to take advantage of the many benefits Trust provide. Is a Trust-based plan right for your family? Call the Heritage Law Center today for a free consultation to learn more about Trusts and the options for protecting your family.