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Heiress restricts grandchildren from money until age 21

The heirs to a major tobacco fortune have complained of not being able to pay their expensive tuition, while they await turning 21 years old. At that age, a trust will give them access to a $500 million fortune each. The two twins say they have been suspended from school because the trustee for the children never paid the tuition.

While many people don't have a billion dollar fortune that they are able to give their children, they can still use trusts to help protect their assets. The children's father in this case died and the man's fourth wife received custody of the children. Their father was the heir to Doris Duke's tobacco fortune.

The money was set aside for the children in a trust that wouldn't allow them to touch the funds until they turn 21. This is sometimes done when parent or grandparents don't think the children will be mature enough at age 18 to handle a large amount of money. This also provides a way for the money to be protected and managed until the children can legally obtain it.

Trusts can be set up to assist minor children with managing money, it a parent was to pass away before they become adults. Many parents might think that their children would be tempted to make excessive purchases if they controlled too much money at one time. Estate planning documents can assist families in making sure their wishes are carried out and assets are protected after they pass away.

Source: New York Post, "Teenage heirs to Doris Duke fortune can't pay for tuition as they wait for millions" Julia Marsh and Leonard Green, Feb. 7, 2013

-Our law firm handles trusts and other estate planning documents. Please visit our website to learn more.

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