GHI Members To Take Up Living Trusts Thursday
As living trusts gain popularity in GHI, members will get a chance to vote on making them a part of bylaws changes on Thursday.
One of the suggested bylaws changes addresses contracts, the other—living trusts.
The bylaws change on living trusts make it clear that GHI can allow them, according to GHI Treasurer Chuck Hess.
Hess said that under the current bylaws, there's been a question about whether GHI could or couldn't allow living trusts, but no one has seen a good reason not to.
"It's getting more popular and were doing it," Hess said. If members pass the suggested bylaws change on Thursday, "It makes it explicit that we're allowed to do this," Hess said.
In some ways, a living trust is like a will. It occurs, however when the recipients and the person or persons creating the trust are living. Unlike a will, the persons involved benefit from the profits of the trust during their lifetimes, followed by a distribution after the last trustor dies.
There are several benefits to a living trust, Hess explained. Going through probate can be a long and time consuming process, a living trusts eliminates the need for that, he said. The second reason is it that the trust is a private document, but going through probate is a public arrangement.
As it relates to GHI, if a member set up a living trust involving their GHI unit, the suggested bylaws changes include new language stating:
"A revocable living trust is permitted to hold a Membership in the Corporation only for so long as the person who established the trust is a living natural person and is approved for membership. Promptly after the death of the person who established the revocable living trust, the Membership held by the trust must be transferred to a new owner approved by the Board of Directors."
Should the changes pass, a GHI member could, for example, set up a living trust to his or her daughter. The daughter would not be able to move in and become a member, though, without the GHI Board's approval. She would have to meet GHI standards, according to Hess.
"It would be well within our power to reject Jack the Ripper as a member, no matter what his finances are like," Hess said. "Because at least in my opinion, he would not be of good character."