The changing approach to estate planning will result in a number of modifications to “standard form”documents. Some of the anticipated changes:
oMost form documents treat all heirs of the same generation as equals (e.g., the children all receive the same benefits at the same time). Increasingly planners will instead look at the personal traits of individual heirs–marriage, character, job, financial responsibility, and so forth–and develop a plan that is specific to each beneficiary.
oInstead of descendants receiving automatic distributions of income, the payment may either be limited to distributions for particular purposes, such as for education and medical or assisted-care help, or be subject to the judgment of the trustees.
oClients will increasingly look to institutional trustees to perform administrative functions, such as handling investments and filing tax returns, while family members or friends perform the more discretionary functions of a trustee (e.g., deciding how and when to make distributions). Documents will begin to reflect this division of authority.
oTo reduce the chances of a single wayward trustee exercising too much power, trusts will increasingly use a trustee committee approach.