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Reasoning behind Philip Seymour Hoffman's estate plan

As questions swirled in Pennsylvania and across the nation about Philip Seymour Hoffman's reasoning behind his failure to name his children in his trust, the actor reportedly stated that he was concerned that his children would turn into "trust fund kids." He left everything to his girlfriend, the mother of all three children. His attorney repeatedly advised him to set up revocable trusts for his children. However, he did not heed his suggestions or those of his accountant.

His intention was for his girlfriend to take care of their children with the money that was left to her. This information came out during a probate hearing from a court-appointed lawyer for the children. That lawyer submitted a report that recommended that the will be accepted.

However, a trust fund was set up for the oldest child, his now-10-year-old son, in case his mother was deceased at the time of Hoffman's death. The report observed that he treated his girlfriend as if they were married although he reportedly did not believe in marriage. In the event of her death, he further requested that his son be raised in a cultural location, such as New York, Chicago or San Francisco. He asked for these locales if a guardian was assigned to his children. If that arrangement was not possible, he asked that his son visit one of these locations at least twice a year so that he could be exposed to the arts the cities offer.

When someone wants to set up an estate plan, they might have specific concerns about their heirs. A probate attorney might be able to establish a trust for minors in accordance with the wishes of the estate holder.

Source: CNN, "Philip Seymour Hoffman didn't want 'trust fund kids,' court docs show", Alan Duke, July 22, 2014

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