LIVING TRUSTS: WHY PAUL RYAN’S LIVING TRUST ISN’T PRIVATE
In case anyone needs any more reasons not to run for public office, there is recently some headlines in the news about Paul Ryan and his estate and his family. These are things that generally don’t come to light because it is in a trust.
What happened was, his wife’s mother passed away several years ago and left a sizable estate which now is held in a family trust that the provisions of that trust generally are private and people will only disclose it if they feel like they want to. And of course politicians, people seeking public office, are a little bit pressured to disclose things that otherwise would be private. So the problem with Paul Ryan’s estate is, not that there’s anything sinister going on, but that he is portrayed as some rich person and, trying to distinguish if there is a political agenda.
And the fact is, they have a family inheritance, it does give them income, that’s what trusts do, and it is completely legal. It is a way to pass from generation to generation. So people can do that anytime they choose to do that and it’s a perfectly appropriate way to preserve wealth for future generations.
The problem with Paul is, he is in the headlines and he’s going to be interviewed and he is going to be talked about. And so his otherwise private business becomes public business. And that is something that is very discouraging to me to think about having to disclose very personal things that otherwise wouldn’t be anybody else’s business.
If there is a message to be taken from that, it is, don’t run for public office. No, I’m just kidding of course. I do appreciate the courage of those who do run for public office. But the problem that they face is: Otherwise private information becomes in the public realm. Not because it is required to be but because they choose to be and because they are pressured to give it out.
Otherwise, a trust remains totally private and that is one of the big benefits of a trust. And we are happy to prepare that trust in a way that will preserve your privacy.
Estate Planning Dr. – Clint W. Smith, Attorney
1423 S. Higley Rd. #120
Mesa, AZ 85203