This week, Season 7 Episode 3 of Game of Thrones aired, entitled The Queen’s Justice. Throughout much of the episode, the sinister Queen Cersei Lannister sought her long-awaited revenge on those who have previously wronged her (now deceased) children. There is no doubt that Cersei Lannister came out on top, due to her strategic planning. However, one might argue that Cersei would still have her children in her arms if she had just made sure to plan for one thing in particular—how to protect her children from themselves.
After Cersei’s husband’s death, her thirteen year old son, King Joffrey Baratheon was given too much power too quickly. Instead of being a responsible and noble king, young Joffrey wasted his time by spending money on women in brothels, as well as torturing and killing many innocent people. This behavior ultimately led to his murder. Perhaps if Cersei and her husband had appropriately planned for their son to take over the Iron Throne, she would have protected him from himself. Now, Cersei’s legacy will end with her.
As legacy planners, we find it extremely important to educate others on the many benefits of a Guardian Angel Trust. One of these benefits is that the “Guardian Angel” Trust can provide exact limitations or guidelines on what the named beneficiaries can do with the assets that are being passed to them. Think about it– a parent has an 18-year-old child who is known for (or at risk of) spending his/her money on drugs and alcohol. If the parent passes away, the child is given an inheritance, and there is no limitation on how the child can spend the money. This is a classic fact pattern that brings up the concerns of many parents. Wouldn’t you want to make sure that the money you are giving to your child is being used in the way you would have wanted?
Guardian Angel Trust provide a “blank canvas” that allows for customized instructions on how and when distributions can be made. Instead of leaving your assets to the questionable judgment of an 18-year-old, you are given the opportunity to protect them from the many temptations and negative influences that they may face daily. You can rest easy knowing that your loved ones are being responsible with the assets given to them.
Now, ask yourself—who are you leaving your legacy to? And more importantly—how are you going to protect them?