The whole point of setting up a trust is not only for protection of assets but also to create a living will. A trust, properly set up, can provide its beneficiaries with income long after the person who set it up has died.
The old-fashioned traditional way was to write a will. Traditionally, a will leaves the assets to family members and specifies how the assets should be divided. Wills are regularly contested in court, particularly if a parent does not divide the assets equally amongst the remaining children.
Even when the division of assets is equal, one sibling can still demand more than their “fair share”. I know this for a fact as it happened to a friend of mine. The unreasonable and selfish sibling in my friend’s case ended up getting the majority of the assets simply because they made it clear that they were prepared to spend years in court and cost the other siblings thousands of dollars, even if this meant that all the inheritance was used up.
Until I read this article I believed that setting up a trust was the best way to provide for my children after my death. The purpose of a trust, I believed, could not be overruled in court. If the trust stated clearly that the assets are not to be sold, but that the passive income was to be divided equally amongst the trust beneficiaries, I expected that it could not be contested. This latest case in the article below shows that a judge can overrule totally the wishes of the person who set up the trust. This is a terrible precedent. It makes me think that no matter how I structure my will or set up a trust any disgruntled relative can use the courts to override it.