Contact Us Today! (972) 712-1515

"The Blog"

What does a Discretionary Trust mean?

Posted by Darryl V. Pratt | Apr 07, 2019 | 0 Comments

Sometimes giving assets outright to a beneficiary – such a child, a grandchild or a special needs loved one – is not the ideal method of distributing assets in an estate plan. In such a scenario, a discretionary trust can be a good estate planning tool. Be low is some basic information on discretionary trusts and how they may be beneficial to your particular family's needs.

Discretionary Trusts Explained

A discretionary trust is a type of trust that is set up for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. In this particular type of trust, however, the trustee is given full discretionary authority to decide when and what funds – such as principal or income -- are given to which beneficiaries. In fact, the beneficiaries of a discretionary trust have no rights to its funds and these funds are not considered part of the beneficiaries' estates. The only way the funds become subject to a creditor is once the funds are distributed to the beneficiary. So long as they stay in the trust and the trustee is not required to distribute them to the beneficiary, they will remain safe.

Within a discretionary trust, you can provide specific guidance to the appointed trustee regarding when distributions may be made. You can choose distributions to be used toward particular uses. This can include health, education, maintenance and support (HEMS). Similarly a trustee can be directed to distribute funds upon a beneficiary's completion of certain milestones – such as college graduation or completion of rehabilitation.

The Purpose of Discretionary Trusts

A discretionary trust can benefit several types of individuals. Aside from minors and those with special needs, others who may benefit from this type of trust includes those: with creditor issues as a result of debt; with drug or alcohol abuse problems; who need or may need governmental assistance in the future; who could be facing or are going through a divorce. Simply put, discretionary trusts are a good estate planning tool for those beneficiaries who may need extra assistance man aging large sums of money.

Estate Planning Advice

If you or someone you know has questions about discretionary trusts – or any other estate planning issue – contact us at (972) 712-1515 to learn about your options.

About the Author

Darryl V. Pratt

With over twenty (20) of experience as a dual-licensed Attorney and Certified Public Accountant, Darryl V. Pratt has practiced law in all areas of corporate and business law, non-profit law, estate planning, probate, guardianship, asset protection planning, bankruptcy (Chapters 7, 13 and 11), real estate, and taxation.

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

DISCLAIMER Pratt Law Group, PLLC (PLG) has prepared the material on this web site, for informational purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice. Further, the material on this site does not create, and receipt does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. The information here is not intended to substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. No person should act or rely on any information in this site without seeking the advice of an attorney. Members of the law firm of PLG are licensed to practice in various courts and jurisdictions; attorneys are specifically licensed to practice in state courts that are enumerated on their individual attorney profiles. We also have affiliations in particular cases with attorneys licensed in additional states. PLG does not offer any guarantee of case results. Although we are extremely proud of our excellent track record, past success does not guarantee success in any new or future case or client matter. This web site is considered advertising by the State Bar of Texas under the applicable law and ethical rules. The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. Only those attorneys who state they are Board Certified in their profiles on this website are Board Certified. All other attorneys are not Board Certified. Darryl V. Pratt is the attorney responsible for this site. The principal office of PLG is 2591 Dallas Parkway, Suite 505, Frisco, Texas 75034. Please note that the transmission of an e-mail inquiry itself does not create an attorney-client relationship. PLG cannot serve as your counsel in any matter unless you and our firm expressly agree in writing that we serve as your attorney. You should also be aware that the Statute of Limitations (the deadline imposed by law within which you may bring a lawsuit) may have expired or may severely limit the time remaining for you to file any potential claims you may have. Time is of the essence. If you believe you have a possible legal case, it is important that you seek out legal advice as soon as possible.

Menu