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How to set up an educational trust

Setting aside money for the college education of a child, grandchild or other loved one in Louisiana or elsewhere is a smart and compassionate thing to do. A trust is one way to accomplish this goal as it provides a lot of flexibility with its terms and conditions. One of these types of trusts is called a pot trust. It is essentially a pot of money from which beneficiaries can take funds when they need them. One issue with this type of trust is that the assets may be distributed unequally, causing division among the beneficiaries.

Alternatively, separate trusts can be set up for each beneficiary to avoid problems of unequal distribution. A potential problem with this solution is that each trust may not have the funds necessary to provide for the beneficiary's education, especially if one of them decides to go to an expensive private school. A private college usually costs several times the amount of a public one.

For people who are not interested in these options, the 529 plan might be a good choice. While this type of plan limits an individual's ability to dictate many of the terms and conditions, it's designed to be a flexible option that adapts to changing education costs. By examining all available options and thinking carefully about the future, finding the right educational trust should be possible.

No matter what educational goals a family has for their children, it's a good idea to get support and guidance from an experienced estate planning law practice. An attorney can evaluate each client's goals and recommend financial tools that accomplish those objectives while addressing any questions or concerns that arise. They can ensure all legal documents protect the people they are supposed to benefit.

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