Should I have a Discretionary Trust?

Book an Initial Call

Should I have a Discretionary Trust?

The trustee who oversees a discretionary trust can use their discretion in determining when and how trust assets should be distributed to beneficiaries. There are several reasons why you might consider establishing a discretionary trust. The Facts’ recent article entitled “Your Estate Plan Could Improve with This Type of Trust” explains that a trust is a legal arrangement in which assets are managed by a trustee on behalf of one or more beneficiaries. In a typical trust arrangement, assets are managed according to the directions and wishes of the grantor (also known as the trustmaker, settlor, or trustor).

However, with a discretionary trust, the trust lets the trustee have full discretion when overseeing the distribution of trust assets to beneficiaries. This is a type of irrevocable trust, which means that the transfer of assets is permanent. The grantor can provide direction about when trust assets should be distributed and how much each trust beneficiary should receive. However, it is up to the trustee to decide what choices are made with regard to distributions of principal and interest from trust assets.

A discretionary trust can help to prevent mismanagement of assets on the part of beneficiaries. It can also offer protection against creditor lawsuits. The assets in a discretionary trust are protected because the trustee technically owns those assets, not the trust beneficiaries.

A discretionary trust can also be used in other situations where you may have concerns over how trust assets will be used, such as in the event a beneficiary divorces.

An experienced estate planning attorney can create a discretionary trust. When establishing the trust, you'll need to decide:

  • Who to name as trustee and successor trustees
  • Which assets will be transferred to the trust
  • Who to name as trust beneficiaries; and
  • Under what situations you'd like assets to be distributed to beneficiaries.

It is an irrevocable trust. As a result, the transfer of assets is permanent. Therefore, be sure beforehand that this type of trust is appropriate for your estate planning needs.

Discretionary trusts can protect your beneficiaries from their own poor money habits, while preserving a legacy of wealth for future generations.

A properly structured discretionary trust can also have some estate tax planning benefits. Ask your attorney to explain this to you when you meet.

Reference: The Facts (March 7, 2022) “Your Estate Plan Could Improve with This Type of Trust”

Book an
Initial Call

Book an
Initial Call

Schedule a time to speak with an attorney at Nickerson Law Group
Book an Initial Call

Watch Our
Videos

Watch Our
Videos

Our videos cover Estate Planning for Families, Laureate Planning, Estate Administration, Family Counselor Program, and more.
Learn More

Read Our
Blog

Read Our
Blog

Our daily blog on Estate Planning for Families, Laureate Planning, Estate Administration, Family Counselor Program, and more.
Read Our Blog
Austin office:

3801 North Capital of Texas Highway
Suite J220
Austin, TX 78746

Our Georgetown Office

(By Appointment Only)
4506 Williams Drive, Suite 115
Georgetown, TX 78633

Contact Us
Integrity Marketing Solutions - Estate Planning Marketing
Powered by
cross