What to do if a beneficiary of an irrevocable Trust dies with no Will?

What are the trustee’s options with the trust? Can the trustee continue the Trust or does the trustee have to transfer it to the estate of the beneficiary? Can the trustee transfer to the estate with a parent as administrator? The beneficiary was 20 years old.

Asked on October 12, 2013 under Estate Planning, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  A trustee is bound by the terms of the trust and state laws that govern the fiduciary duties he or she are bound by.  So depending how the trust is written and the law in your state the trustee must act accordingly. It sounds  - with out knowing more - that the estate would be the beneficiary if there was no contingent beneficiary listed.  Who the administrator is will not matter so much but I can understand the concern if the parent is also the beneficiary.  But the parent may also be the logical choice for administrator.  It is best to have an attorney look at the trust document for you.  Good luck.

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