FPC #6: Family Protection & Values Transmission with Incentive Trusts

The term “family protection” is used in many different contexts. For example, in insurance planning it often refers to the concept of “income replacement” for a family bereft of its primary breadwinner. What should “family protection” mean in the context of estate planning?

In our practice, incentive planning plays a big role in Family Protection. Aside from cost and privacy concerns, the only limit is your imagination but here are a few examples of goals that may be incentivized in various ways:

  • pursue an education at least through college or vocational school, not in excess, but as necessary preparation for career and life (for example, Trustee may in its discretion reward specific academic achievements);
  • be gainfully employed with a view toward being financially self-sufficient;
  • maintain career with continuing education;
  • be a law-abiding member of society;
  • actively train with firearms for defensive shooting and development as a firearms instructor, and regularly carry a firearm for family protection;
  • engage in regular estate planning, for family protection;
  • be a productive member of society by making meaningful and positive contributions to family, community, and society;
  • engage in religious activities;
  • engage in entrepreneurial activities;
  • engage in creative activities;
  • handle money responsibly and avoid wasteful spending (for example, Trustee, as a financial mentor to beneficiary, may in its discretion match retirement savings, assist with purchasing car/home/business/investments, evaluate stewardship of outright distributions free of trust);
  • act with empathy, thoughtfulness, kindness, and compassion toward others;
  • develop healthy and meaningful relationships;
  • build and maintain family by remaining married, staying at home to raise kids when necessary, and engaging in family recreation;
  • make contributions of time, money, or both to charity; and
  • maintain a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle.

This is one of the focus topics we present on a revolving basis at our weekly “guntrust Challenge” competitions — part shooting match, part quiz show.

  • What do families really want when they engage in estate planning?
  • Does mere transfer of assets protect families?
  • Can the manner of transmitting assets protect families?
  • Can comprehensive estate planning assist with the transfer of values?
  • Can comprehensive estate planning encourage growth of the family in terms of sheer numbers of lives, of fortune, of power?
  • Can comprehensive estate planning help maintain the family as an intact institution upon which its members can rely for guidance and support?
  • Should comprehensive estate planning include transmission of a legacy of firearm and self-defense training?
  • Assuming you are successful in accumulating wealth for your family, how do you preserve that wealth?
  • What are the documented dangers of unearned wealth?
  • Can comprehensive estate planning transmit a legacy of financial mentorship, from generation to generation?
  • Can comprehensive estate planning assist with career preparation, from generation to generation?
  • Can comprehensive estate planning assist with career maintenance, from generation to generation?
  • Can comprehensive estate planning help transmit religious faith?
  • Can comprehensive estate planning transmit an ethic of charitable enterprise?
  • Can comprehensive estate planning mete out appropriate punishment in a way that rehabilitates and builds character among descendants, rather than destroying their lives?
  • How do family protection concerns affect nomination of guardians for minor children?
  • Is there a WAY for comprehensive estate planning to encourage kids to plan? (888-WAY-WILL)

So come visit our Family Protection Clinic(s) and gain expertise on estate planning and self-defense!

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