2000 NEWS

2000 News > 11/17/00

TRUST ME, BABY

By Monica Langley, The Wall Street Journal
(Excerpt)

Straight from a win for the Atlanta Braves this fall, star pitcher Tom Glavine is talking to his lawyer about how and when his two children will inherit his wealth. With an $8 million annual salary, the 33-year-old Mr. Glavine wants to set up a trust that provides for his children--but on his terms.

"Obviously I'm concerned about giving my children that kind of wealth," says Mr. Glavine, who played in this year's World Series. "I don't want my kids to feel like they don't have to do anything in life." His solution: a "family incentive trust" that provides them with more money if they act in ways he approves.

To make sure his children work--"I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth," Mr. Glavine says--he'll match their earned income up to $100,000. And though he vows "I'm not going to make my son play baseball," he is thinking about making extra money available to help his kids engage in sports.

When four-year-old Amber tells her father she wants to be an "animal doctor for lions, tigers, and baby giraffes," Mr. Glavine has his attorney, John J. Scroggin, add another incentive: $200,000 to set up a veterinary practice or any other business, as long as she has done well in school.

But when Amber one day has children of her own, her father wants to offer a different incentive. "My mom was there for me every day when I got off the bus," the pitcher recalls. "There is a great value in Mom staying at home. I want Amber to be there for her kids." So he discusses a possible monthly payment of as much as $10,000 if Amber is a stay-at-home mother. . . .

Mr Glavine, the Braves pitcher and two-time Cy Young Award winner, will require beneficiaries to submit their W-2 tax forms to the trust for documentation of employment and earnings. "I want my kids to realize they need to work," the baseball star says. "They won't get a free ride in life."

To Mr. Glavine, the key is tying distributions to positive incentives so "they can't just take whatever they want," he says. "They just can't say, 'I feel like a Ferrari today.'"