Trusts can be an important way to provide for children, or other family members with special needs upon your death. When you create a trust, you can make choices about how the disbursements are to be handled—and appoint a trustee to oversee administration.
Understanding Distribution Options
Essentially, a trust is a legal entity, set up to own assets. Provisions abut how those assets can be distributed to beneficiaries are set up by the grantor (the person establishing the trust). These provisions are included in a trust document, often referred to as a trust agreement. Your intentions for how and when your beneficiaries receive funds from the trust inform the distribution option you choose. TuckerAllen provides these examples of distribution options:
Outright trust distribution: A beneficiary’s share of the trust is distributed as a one-time lump sum amount after they have reached the age of inheritance. This is the most straightforward method of distribution.
Periodic trust distribution: The trustee will be required to distribute a predetermined portion of the trust at predetermined times.
Sprinkling trust distribution: Allows the trustee to have discretion in distributing funds according to beneficiaries’ needs before the youngest beneficiary turns a certain age. This distribution is most common in families with multiple minor children.
Distribution in share trusts: Your beneficiary’s share of your assets is kept in trust forever. This distribution plan is great for protecting sensitive family members or protecting against outside influences.
Trustees and Trustee Bonds?
If you choose to work with a lawyer and establish a trust, you will designate a trustee to administer it. Because a trustee administers funds on behalf of the beneficiaries, a separate, dedicated bank account must be set up and used exclusively for the trust funds. Trustees are required to keep careful records of all transactions and document use of funds as defined in the trust agreement. When funds are invested, volatile markets can present unique challenges to trustees. Generally, trustees must follow the standards of the prudent investor rule in carrying out their duties.
Given the fiduciary duties carried out by trustees, it is common to require a trustee bond Essentially, a trustee bond is a type of fiduciary bond that guarantees that the trust will be administered in accordance with the law. It is quick and easy to obtain a trustee bond from leading national provider: Colonial Surety Company. Just get a quote online, fill out the information, and enter a payment method. Print or e-file the bond instantly—from anywhere. Obtain a Trustee Bond Here.
Trust Law? Need a Partner?
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