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Dear Shade, 

I am an adopted child, and my parents are aged. My parents told me they invested a huge amount of money in my favourite uncle’s business, so he’d take care of my education in the event of their absence. Honestly, I didn’t have a problem with that until yesterday when a friend of mine at school, disclosed how her uncle gambled away the money her father struggled to save with him for a project. Don’t get it twisted, I love my uncle, but humans change, and I’m not ready to drop out of school.

What can I do about this? If there’s an option, how do I communicate it to my parents without hurting my favourite uncle’s feelings?

Kolade, Ondo


 

Dear Kolade,

Matters like this should be handled with tact in order to avoid conflict within the family. A child, biological or adopted, can inherit from the estate of their parent. Secondly and more importantly, on the issue of the investment, the best way to use the investment for the purpose of your education is to create an Education Trust structure. An Education Trust, as the name implies, is a structure wherein a person called a settlor gives assets to another person, known as a Trustee, to fund a third person, i.e. beneficiary’s education.

It is also important to know the nature of the investment in order to know how it can be put in the trust. For instance, if it is an equity investment, then the shares can be held as assets under the trust and the dividend can be the Trust income to finance the education of the beneficiary. If it is in form of a loan, the principal and the interest can be the income of the Trust. In this situation, it is advisable for your parents to speak to a professional Trustee in order to map out the best structure to suit the intended purpose i.e. your education. Remember, tact is important and should be used in dealing with the sensitive family matter such as this. I hope this helps.

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