Even if you are confident of the strength of your trust, things can go wrong.

Even though multimillionaire Stanley Smith did all the right things in creating his estate plan, it turned out his trust wasn’t foolproof, according to CNBC in “The American Greed Report: How to control your money even after you die.”

Smith donated to charity and created a trust with assets of $100 million that was to be invested for the benefit of his wife.

To make sure a trustee would not act in his or her own interests instead of Smith’s wife’s interests, Smith appointed three co-trustees. This trust should have been about as foolproof as a trust could be.

However, Mark Avery, who was one of the trustees took half of the assets in the trust and invested them in a security company. He claims this was for the benefit of Smith’s wife. However, Avery was building a private army and navy, according to the report.

Avery was caught and is currently in federal prison serving an 11 year sentence.

Even when everything is done right in creating a trust, things can still go very wrong.

What this means is that you need to be very careful when it comes to the party or parties you appoint to be the trustee of your trust.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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