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Travel Tramps

Travel Trusts keep your family traveling

by Kathleen Curry & Geoff Griffin
- Posted // 2012-09-02 -

This falls under the category of,  "What the heck? Why didn’t we think of this?" We’re talking about Travel Trusts, a new trend in estate planning.  With Travel Trusts, you can set aside money that your beneficiaries can only use for travel.

Note that you don’t have to have departed this earthly plane to have a trust take effect. You can set the money aside right now and still be around for decades. As with any other type of trust, this prevents your kids, grandkids, friends, lovers, etc., from doing something stupid with the money or losing it in a divorce, bankruptcy, Ponzi-scheme run by a church acquaintance, etc. What’s unique is that someone is using a trust to say that the people the money is set aside for can only use the money for travel. Things can even be tailored to the point where the travel would have to be to get a family spread across the country/world together for a reunion, or to have them visit your family’s country of origin to learn about the culture, history, ancestors, etc.

The concept of travel trusts is becoming big enough that somebody has even tried to trademark it, and at least one Utah estate planning attorney has taken note of it.

When we first heard about this, we joked that this would be an issue we’d never have to confront since we’ll have already spent our kids’ inheritance on our own traveling. Sorry, kids. For a lot of people, such concerns might seem a long way off. Nevertheless, it does raise the question of how you want to be remembered. Do you want your heirs to buy new cars with the money you leave them and forget about you after they trade that new model in, or do you want them to have memorable experiences that renew their ties to family or to generations who have gone before?

The Travel Tramps write about their treks near and far for City Weekly and also host the weekly Travel Brigade Radio Show. You can follow them on Twitter @TravelBrigade.

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