My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: PA
My mother has a long history of financial irresponsibility. My dad and I are concerned that if he dies, Mom would quickly blow through his small estate. As it stands, the house, vehicles, and bank account are all in his name only. So in drafting his Will, my thought is to leave the entirety of his estate to a Testamentary Spendthrift Trust, with Mom as the beneficiary and me as the trustee. That way I can dole out the money appropriately, particularly for larger lump-sum purchases, like a new car when needed. Note: She would still have other income - Social Security, and a modest pension from my Dad.
I want to keep things real simple. I'm leaning away from a Living Trust because of the upfront hassle. Plus if Mom dies first, then it would all have been a waste. (If that happens, the Will simply diverts the estate to his children.)
My question is, would the Testamentary Spendthrift Trust satisfy the elective share law? In other words, would the Court view the estate as hers, leaving her no grounds to contest? I can see Mom not being happy with me being the gatekeeper of her funds and wanting to fight it.
If there's a better way to go about this, I'm all ears. But I like the idea of simply naming the trust in the Will, and granting the Executor (me) full discretion as to the actual creation and administration of the trust. If and when that time comes, I pay an Attorney to make it bulletproof. Think Probate will let that fly?
Also, how much involvement does the Court have during the life of the Trust? If it means we don't have to pay recurring administrative fees, could Mom choose to waive Court oversight?