Dear Harry: We have a severely handicapped daughter who needs constant care. She is in her 50s, and we are in our 80s. We have sufficient money to care for her while we're alive, and we have bought last-to-die insurance to take care of her when we're gone. Our insurance broker has made the suggestion that we reconsider the way we are leaving the insurance. The beneficiary in the policy is our son. He knows what the money is for. Our broker knows our son well, and has reservations about his ability to handle such a large sum at one time. The only other close relative we have is older than we are, so we are back to square one. I think you discussed this situation at length on your radio program years ago. Can you help us do this right so our daughter will be protected? She has a normal life expectancy.
What Harry says: A tip of the many Gross hats to your broker. To begin with, your son has an adverse interest. Anything not spent on your daughter will remain with him. That's reason enough to make changes. Just changing the beneficiary is not enough. You need a trust to receive the money. This trust should be drawn by a lawyer who knows how to handle disability situations. You can get some recommendations from an organization that deals with your daughter's handicap. I suggest that the trustee be a close friend who is a good deal younger than you. Be sure to name a successor to that trustee, as well as a bank to be third in line. I have reservations about banks being first in line, but they have the advantage of having a perpetual life through successors if necessary. Good luck.
Write Harry Gross c/o the Daily News, 400 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19130. Harry urges all his readers to give blood - contact the American Red Cross at 800-GIVE LIFE.