Discussion: Protecting Assets
Sam established a trust on January 1, 1999, and funded it with his entire investment (portfolio stock, bonds, misc. investments). Sam was the initial trustee. On his failure to serve, Security Bank, as trust custodian, is the successor trustee. The trust allows Sam to revoke the trust at any time during his life. Sam’s family wants his assets to be kept safe and be available for distribution on Sam’s death. Sam feels that his family is full of spendthrifts and questions their ability to manage the portfolio when Sam can't tend it.
On July 4, 2002, Sam was permanently disabled in a car accident and Security Bank became successor trustee. Security Bank ran the trust for the next 5 years until Sam’s death. At Sam’s death the trust became irrevocable and Sam’s attorney, Jane, became trustee. The trust provided that Jane administer the trust for the benefit of the family with an emphasis on education before consumption. Jane had the authority to distribute income and principal at her discretion.
Did Sam protect his assets from squander by his heirs? If so, in what way(s)? Were there any issues that Sam missed?
The Tobacco Wars: Smoking Guns and Cancerous Lungs
If a cigarette is a legal product and is not defective, then how can its manufacturer be legally liable for the cancer and other harm caused to smokers, especially those that were willing to smoke despite the known risk to their health? Should the CEOs of major tobacco companies from the 1950s to the early 1990s have been prosecuted for second degree murder for the many customers who lost their lives from lung cancer, since they knew of the danger but chose not to disclose it?