Nicole: There are a lot of different routes you can take with a trust in how we’re going to be distributing to beneficiaries. One way is based on age, a common distribution pattern based on age is one-third at 25, one-third at 30 one third at 35. However, not all people want to do it based off of ages. You can also make distributions based off of years after you’ve passed. You could say every year for 10 years after the day I die, my beneficiaries get 10% of what their percentage is. There’s really a lot of different routes in how you want to incrementally distribute your assets to your beneficiaries.

Within your trust, there are also discretionary distributions. A mandatory distribution says at the age of 25 you give them one-third of that trust account no matter what. That’s mandatory. Discretionary spending is all based on the trustee’s discretion. This allows your trustee to make any outside distributions for anything related to the beneficiary’s health, education, maintenance, and support. It’s a pretty broad group of things right there but it’s so your trustee can say, “Okay, you need money for school, or you need money for a new car.” Your trustee has the ability to take that out of your beneficiary’s trust account and give it to them even if they’re not 25 yet, for example.

Another form of discretionary spending is you can figure out the type of discretionary spending, what it would be used for. A common example is 25% or 20% down on a down payment of a home. You can give discretionary spending for a wedding or for a honeymoon, something specifically for those types of events in your beneficiary’s life. Really a trust shrink-wraps your entire estate. Whether you get more funds or less funds or whatever you do, your trust shouldn’t have to be amended that frequently just because you get a new count or because you get a new property, things like that.

There are lots of things that you can do with a trust. Another really fun thing that people do with trust is they create a pet trust. Those are real, you can leave money to your pets or for the people who are watching your pets. You can also get an educational trust. This is where your beneficiary would be receiving funds specifically for educational purposes. Then once they receive a diploma or certificate from an accredited school, they can receive the rest of the money outright. There are a lot of different things that you can do with a trust, so meet with an attorney and figure out the best options for you.