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Trust management

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Four years ago my husband died, leaving his estate to our children with my use of it during my lifetime. To date it has done no more than pay the notes and management fee. Now we have a chance to sell it, and my children propose dividing the profits equally from the building appreciation and reinvesting the original sum in something else. I am 60 with a lot of years ahead. I need more income now. What are some wise investments? N. A.

Assuming your estate is mainly a house and your husband's assets are in trust for your children with income to you, I'm not sure I understand why they should share in the profits now. Ordinarily, a trustee can shift assets within the trust to achieve objectives outlined by the trustor -- your husband in this case. If this assumption is true, then the trustee might wish to sell the house with your concurrence and reinvest the funds. A person in your position should own your housing or, in this case, have the use of a smaller house or condominium. Attempting to keep up with regular rent increases with income from secure investments could be a losing proposition if inflation continues. Thus, the trustee could sell your house, buy a smaller one or a condo, and invest the rest in income stocks. These are paying 12 to 14 percent now. If the property is actually owned by your children now instead of being in trust and you are living in the house, then your options are fewer.Whatever you net from the sale, you could consider investing in money-market mutual funds, income stocks, such as utilities, or bonds. These are still in a good buying range.


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