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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thousands missing from schoolboy's trust fund

When parents make a Will setting aside their estates for young children, they have to choose someone to be the trustee of the money in the event that both parents die. If you don't name someone specifically to handle a trust, the trustee will be the person you name as your executor and trustee in your Will, or perhaps the Public Trustee.

This story talks about a case in the UK where a step-parent embezzled funds from his deceased's partners' young son. He was busted when the child's biological father started asking questions. He's now facing criminal charges. Click here to read it.

It's easy to look at a case like this and say that the mother should have chosen someone else, but I don't find it surprising that she chose her new partner. He was someone that she loved and trusted. That's exactly who most people would choose. You've probably done the same in choosing your executor and trustee. But had the mother wanted to make a different choice, is there an option? Yes there is. She could have chosen to use a trust company, and gained reliability, accountability and expertise. Nothing is more important in this case than the safety of that child's inheritance (certainly not her feelings for someone who isn't even the boy's father), so I urge anyone in a similar situation to talk to their local trust company.

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