who owns the assets placed in a trust?

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who owns the assets placed in a trust?

My 92 year old mother is applying for a VA pension as a
surviving spouse. We need to list her assets as part of the
application. Everything she had is in a trust over which she
has no control. Does she legally own these assets? Or are
they owned by the trust? Will she need to list the trust
assets as hers on any application form? This is very
confusing. Can you shed some light on this? Thanks.

Asked on April 10, 2018 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) The trust is the legal owner of the assets.
2) If the trust is an irrevocable one--that is, one she cannot undo or change--then they are not her assets; if it is recovable, or one that she can undo or change (that is, "revoke"), they would be considered her assets even though she does not technically own them at the time, because she has the power to take them back at will. So the critical question is whether the trust is irrevocable (not her assets) or revocable (considered her assets).
3) If she draws income from the trust, she may need to list that (the income, not the assets), if income is a question on the application.


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