People who provide financial or other support to relatives can continue to help them after they die through estate planning. If you do not have a will or any other estate planning structures, but you give financial support to family members regularly or otherwise help them, consider making an estate plan.
One great way to support relatives over time is through a trust. Trusts are useful for long term support because the trustees can continue to distribute money from them over a long period of time, even after the people who form them are deceased. A trust is a legal document explaining that a trustee will hold legal title to certain property in trust for the benefit of beneficiaries.
When you contribute property or assets to a trust, the trustee must responsibly manage it in the best interests of the beneficiaries. Depending on what the trust document says, the trustee can make distributions from the trust regularly or in times of great need. The trust will continue to exist for as long as the trust document specifies – including long after the person who forms the trust has died. In this way, you can provide for relatives who need your help for many years to come.
Another way to help relatives financially is by making a will. A will is a document that explains how you would like your estate to be distributed after death. Without a will, your estate will most likely go to your closest relatives such as your spouse and children. If you support your parents or other relatives, they may not inherit anything. Your will can say that you want to make specific gifts of money or property to the people you want to support. A will usually contains outright gifts only but it can be prepared in such a way that a trust comes into existence when the person making the will dies.
You can also contribute financial support to relatives through life insurance. Life insurance pays a lump sum to a beneficiary of your choice. You can even choose a trust as the beneficiary in some cases.
Finally, if your support for a relative comes in the form of time or medical care, consider signing am enduring power of attorney. This document appoints someone to take care of your affairs if you cannot. That person could arrange for care on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
To find out more about estate planning in The Bahamas, visit Gonsalves-Sabola Chambers online or call the office at +1 242 326 6400.