What should I know about Trusts?

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Why Use a Trust?

Avoid probate

One benefit of a trust that applies to all trust makers is probate avoidance. Staying out of court is SUCH a gift to leave your loved ones, that will save them time, money, and stress.

Grow together

If funded properly (link to video of Cristyn explaining trust funding), your trust does not need an attorney to keep making changes as you grow. Over time, if you start to spend your assets or sell properties, your trust still does not need to be updated!

Protect beneficiaries

Whether your beneficiaries are minors, young adults, or folks who you don’t want to inherit everything all at once, you can set up customizable rules for your beneficiaries to protect them and their inheritance!

How can I use a trust to distribute assets?

Mandatory Distributions

A mandatory distribution is a distribution that must be made upon the occurrence of some event. For example, if you have a rule where a beneficiary is to receive 25% of their trust at age 25, the trustee must distribute 25% of the trust to the beneficiary once he or she reaches age 25. Nothing else needs to happen for the beneficiary to receive this distribution.

Mandatory Distribution based on Ages

Many trusts with minor or young adult beneficiaries are set up where the beneficiary receives his or her inheritance spread out over several distributions over the course of several years. A very common example is a third each at ages 25, 30, and 35.

Mandatory Distribution based on Passage of Time

Families creating a trust for older beneficiaries may choose to have a certain percentage doled out every so many years with a final distribution at the time of their choosing. For example, parents leaving an inheritance for a child over 35 could release 10% upon the parents passing, and 10% more distributed every two years with the accrued interest to be paid out at the final distribution.

Discretionary Distributions

Discretionary distributions are distributions left up to the trustee to decide whether to distribute the funds for a specific purpose or not.

HEMS (health, education, maintenance, and support) is included in trusts for minor beneficiaries, but frequently in other trusts as well. This gives the trustee the choice to say yes or no to living expenses, medical expenses, and educational expenses.

Some trust makers may choose to allow for other distributions to be made, with requirements around them, such as:




Down payment on a home


Study abroad or a gap year


Starting a business

Estate Planning and your assets

Other Uses of Trusts


Pet Trusts can be set up to be sure Fluffy and Spot are cared for after you are gone


Educational Trusts can help your loved ones get an education without student loans


Lifetime Trusts can protect your beneficiaries who have struggled with an addiction

Wondering if a trust is right for you?

Find a time to chat!

Our attorneys can walk you through your specific circumstances and make recommendations to ensure your goals are met. It is our goal to make certain your wishes are followed!