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What would you do? (Kinda long)

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kg201 posted 8/18/2014 22:33 PM

The big issue holding up my D is my X's life insurance. Since she is terminally it is an asset that is probably more at the forefront than in most divorces.

Soon after dday last year learned that she had a lawyer draw up a trust in behalf of the kids. She had the lawyer put her mother as primary trustee, her AP as the secondary, and she asked her cousin (who refused ) to be third trustee. When I filed for D the trust had to be scrapped, and she had to keep me as trustee in e interim.

But in negotiating the divorce agreement, she has come back to the trustee issue. She does not want me to be sole trustee because she claims I have financially mismanaged our assets. Other than the fact that we have a lot of debt due to her law school days and three kids, she hasn't really pointed to anything in particular to substantiate her claim (in fact the things she has done in the marriage have led to more financial strain).

I have told her I will not be trapped by someone else's decisions, if in the future I need access to the money to benefit my kids. I did offer that I was willing to do a quarterly report to someone (I proposed the minister at her church) as a way to show that the money is being used for the kids, but I wouldn't agree to a joint trustee. She refused my offer.

We have a limited issue court date with a judge in October to decide this issue. So here is my question....I just got a text from her this evening saying that her best friend is willing to be a trustee. This is someone that I respected for many years and was friendly with throughout our marriage. She has been like an aunt to my kids. She hasn't reached out to me since dday, but I can also understand her loyalty to my X.

So what would you do? I have been so ticked off about this issue and have been looking forward to resolving it in October. But maybe this friend would be ok as a joint trustee. She has shown care for my kids since they were born, so I don't think she would be a bad co-trustee, but the potential for making my job as a dad more difficult exists.

What would you do?

StillLivin posted 8/18/2014 22:42 PM

I would take whatever advice my attorney gave.
You may want to get an attorney who specializes in this.

dmari posted 8/18/2014 22:45 PM

Is there a way to have two co-trustees? One that you choose and one of her choosing?

solus sto posted 8/18/2014 23:48 PM

This is an issue for me, too, as Trac-Fone is seriously ill.

I am primary beneficiary and the kids secondary. (They are both legally adults. They both strongly prefer the money travel to them through me.) This was a bone of contention only briefly. Ultimately, he agreed to retain this arrangement just to shut me up. Now I neither nag him nor tell the world his secrets (much).

Really, I think he realized that he just doesn't give a damn. He's going to be dead. He doesn't really care enough about any of us to fight and, to the extent that he does care, knows that I will manage it well for the kids. Seriously, it affects him not even a little, so it wasn't worth a battle to him; there is no joy to be derived from manipulating from the grave (at least not when weighed against the possibility of fault divorce, alienation of affection, and other embarrassing things still on the books in my state).

I pay the premiums, lest the policy be allowed to lapse. That is something I can see him allowing to happen, "accidentally" on purpose.

ETA: it has not eluded me that, given his particular pathology, I am incredibly fortunate that this is the battle I've won. I've lost most others, but this one-the most important, under the circumstances--I am so lucky he decided I was not worth the time to fight. I'm so grateful he chose THIS issue for which to become completely dismissive.

[This message edited by solus sto at 12:08 AM, August 19th (Tuesday)]

gonnabe2016 posted 8/19/2014 00:40 AM

If a judge orders it, then so be it, but there is no way in hell that I would voluntarily agree to let a 3rd party manage money that is meant for my kids.

I'm thinking that the trustee of a *trust* is required, by law, to provide some type of annual statement so your *offer* to her is kinda redundant. Plus, if the recipients of the trust believe that the trustee is mismanaging the funds....guess what? They can file a lawsuit against you. Fun times -- doesn't everyone now want to be the trustee for a trust?

What would I do?
I would insist on being the trustee. None of this joint trustee shit would be acceptable to me. This is a hill that I would die on....or spend thousands upon thousands of dollars in L fees to work out.
Jeez, in an ideal world, she would just name you as beneficiary with the unspoken understanding that you are going to *do right* for your kids and not spend the insurance money on yourself for an around-the-world cruise or something.

Run all of this past your L.

MC_Jack posted 8/19/2014 07:52 AM

I think the friend/'aunt' is a good suggestion. The trust is for the kids, and she is someone who will have the kids in mind.

Remember, your wife's agendas are coming to an end.

What are you concerned about with this aunt person? That she will give the money to OM? It may help to identify specifically your real concerns.

7yrsflushed posted 8/19/2014 08:17 AM

Everything Gonna said!

Talk to your L but I also would not agree to let anyone other than me or one of MY trusted family members be named as trustee.

Seriously she has limited time left and she is spending it bickering to the end.

Sad in AZ posted 8/19/2014 11:06 AM

I would not give control of my children's money to anyone else. This is a hill I would die on. Get a good attorney and get it in ironclad terms.

sparkysable posted 8/19/2014 11:09 AM

She originally wanted the AP as trustee? And then wants to give YOU a hard time?

Yeah, you're going to have to find a lawyer that specializes in this.

westgirl posted 8/19/2014 14:08 PM

You and you only should be in charge of your kids' well-being. Chances are this "aunt" knew of your wife's affair as well. I would not trust her.

Gemini71 posted 8/19/2014 14:14 PM

My Mom is trustee of her sister's estate for my two cousins. They don't get full dispersement until they are both 30. It is a lot of work and requires a lot of communication. In our state, if the trustee in not a relative, there is a bond that has to be posted, and the expense for it comes from the estate. I don't think her friend really knows what all she's getting into.

I'd push to be trustee for your own kids. You have the best motive in the world to be a responsible administrator. What does your X think you're gonna do? Go live in Fiji on her insurance to celebrate her passing??!! No, that's what SHE would do. She's projecting her poor morals and lack of common sense onto you.

solus sto posted 8/19/2014 19:21 PM

If you cannot arrange for you to be trustee (and this is one thing for which I'd encourage my attorney to really fight, choosing a specialist if necessary), I agree that having someone from YOUR family appointed would be an excellent idea.

It's a biggie. Making your life--and that of your kids--harder, just for shits and giggles really is not something that should be permitted. There is no valid reason for this level of control from the grave. It's just posturing, game-playing, and a final jab.

I had to watch my mother beg for money for from a trustee. The added layer of difficulty really was soul-crushing for her. And at times, it made it difficult for her to meet the needs of me and my sibs.

If your competent to raise the kids, you're competent to make financial decisions in their best interest.

mamazen posted 8/19/2014 19:50 PM

Gonna play devil's advocate here, because I recently amended my will, upon the advice of my attorney. (I'm not terminally ill and hopefully the kids will long be adults before it's read…)

I removed WH from everything. All the money (life insurance, pensions, etc) goes to the kids, through a trustee. Since I have assets in 2 countries of residence, I had to name different trustees in each country. And it stipulates specifically, in bold print, that he is in no way to have any decision as to the disbursement of funds. Reason? He is a financial disaster. He stole $90K from under my nose the last 2 years of our marriage. He never had a penny to put toward any of the kids' expenses during the marriage, and our marriage was nothing but a power struggle about that (he earns a very good income--I've since discovered secrets about his life that may explain his constant lack of money). Even now, he takes OW on big vacations, yet cries poor when it's time to pay the kids' bills. Even didn't take them on a vacation this year, yet had the time and money to take OW and her kids on a nice long vacation (great message to my kids, eh?) There is no way in hell he will ever have one decision to make regarding my money and how it's given to the kids (I am confident he would spend it on himself). So my trusted friends and relatives will be the ones telling him how much they get and when (if they are minors). I wouldn't have it any other way. It's not vengeance, just common sense, and solid financial acumen, considering his history.

Maybe my situation is unique. And I am the BS, the one with principles. I want to rest in peace knowing my kids are the beneficiaries of my generosity, not their slime father.

Of course, our situations aren't the same. If your wayward can be convinced to allow you to make the decisions about the money, then you should continue to fight for that. Maybe you can reach her somehow. Good luck.

kg201 posted 8/19/2014 21:41 PM

She's projecting her poor morals and lack of common sense onto you.

I think this is exactly it. She accuses me of financial mismanagement, but hasn't provided any examples of this, other than the joint debt. On the other hand I have a list of a number of ways where she has demanded things that knowingly created financial hardship on the family.

Her arguments for needing a trustee are the financial mismanagement, and accusing me of looking forward to using the money for starting a new school and/or for a new family. All accusations that aren't based in any reality.

I appreciate hearing the stories of how multiple trustees made it hard to support the kids. That is what I have been thinking would be the case.

Runningaway posted 8/19/2014 23:14 PM

I also amended my life insurance policies and will to exclude my XH.

My lawyer told me that the person holding my kids should not be the same person holding the purse. It's too easy to convince yourself that something you wanted was "for the good of the children" So I get where your WW is coming from. Except for the OM part, b/c that's just crap.

Pride aside, I don't see what the issue is. You can apply to the trust to pay you out a certain amount of money per month per child right? (I'm in Canada, that is how mine is setup) Its not like you have to go and ask for money all the time.

justastatistic posted 8/21/2014 15:16 PM

I don't know what the law is in your State, but in NJ when couples get divorced it is presumed that the spouse who maintains a life insurance policy on him or herself intended to change the beneficiary to someone other that his or her spouse at the time of divorce, even if they don't. So most times when someone dies with an ex-spouse as a life insurance beneficiary, the other family members file to keep the ex-spouse from getting the benefits.

Stay strong. That she would even think of trying to have her AP be a co-trustee with you for YOUR kids shows just how f'd up she really is. I'm mad just thinking about that.

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