When you get a Will drafted, say "Trust Me" ... and trustworthy wines! by Albert Coke Roth, III, Esq. Law Wine & Law Living or Inter Vivos Trusts, so stay tuned because I will be discussing Revocable Living Trusts in next month's article of Law and Wine. The use of Testamentary Trusts is a cool way to give property away after death, and you don't need to fiddle with expensive and confusing administration of a Trust when you are alive. Rarely do I write a Will that does not have a Testamentary Trust of some kind. If a person has children less than twenty-five or so, or children of any age that have a challenges. I put the assets they are gifted into a Children's Trust to give them access to the assets when they need it and not when they want it; for education, health care, dentistry, buying a home and the like. And, I plan for procreation...kids do that...so the Children's Trust applies to later generations if a child beneficiary dies with a child. If you don't control the disposition of gifts to those with acute hormone poisoning, the money is used for really fun and memorable temporal pleasures, tattoos, piercings and motorcycles, etc., instead of marginally useful things like education and health... most people want their hard earned dollars spent in a fairly responsible fashion. I am now integrating a contingent Testamentary Special Needs Trust in every Will just because you never know who in your family will qualify for government entitlement programs. This cool provision shifts a beneficiary's share into a Trust that only gives them the amount of money that does not disqualify them from some government program. Without a Special Needs Trust, you might as well list the government as a beneficiary. One important use of Testamentary Trusts is dealing with the members in the normal family....the normal family now being anything but normal...his, hers, ours/his,his/hers,hers kids...you get the picture....seems like it's about ninety percent of the population. You can place your worldly possessions to benefit the Attorney and international wine judge Coke Roth blends personality with GLBT legal insight & wine recommendations Trust....just sounds good, doesn't it? Thoughts of fidelity, honesty, value and other complementary superlatives fill the mind. Well, just leave it up to a lawyer to redefine a term, because when you are talkin' law and you say the word "Trust", it is a term of art. In general, Trusts are really great ways for the dead hand to control the distribution of wealth. Although the use of Trusts first became named and used in the Middle Ages, the principal is older than that, in fact, down right ancient. This principal involves three players; the person that has stuff, who gives it to another person to hold it for yet another person's benefit. We call the person with the stuff the Grantor, Trustor or Settlor. The second in line who is charged with holding the stuff is the Trustee...another cuddly name, huh? Makes me just want to hug them... The third person who benefits from the gift of the Grantor is the Beneficiary.... let me go on record as wanting to be that guy. There are many types of Trusts, some more popular than others. Trusts that spring from a Will are called Testamentary Trusts. Trusts that are formed by a Grantor when the Grantor is still vertical and taking nourishment are called Albert Coke Roth, III is the Principal of the Roth*Coleman Law Office in Kennewick, WA and is licensed to practice law in Washington and Oregon, practicing law in the areas of Estate and Relationship Planning, Business and Business Succession Planning and matters of Real Estate. You can contact Coke at (509) 783-0220 or coke@rothcoleman.com , or visit www.rothcoleman.com . Coke is also an international wine judge, winery consultant, and a panelist for WinePress Northwest Magazine. | March 2009 | Q View Northwest - Spokane Edition | www.qviewnorthwest.com