Can I not comply with stipulations in a Trust?

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Can I not comply with stipulations in a Trust?

My stepmom died. She left a living trust and stipulated that I donate $5000 to a certain church. Must I comply?

Asked on March 19, 2017 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you breach the terms of the trust, the trustee could potentially refuse to make payments or distributions due to you under the trust, or sue you to force you to make that payment or to recover for the trust the money you should have donated. So if you are willing to put the money in the trust at risk and not receive some or all of it, you can refuse to comply--nothing should happen to you beyond potentially losing money due you under the trust. On the other hand, if you do comply, as a donation to a church, the $5,000 will presumably be tax deducible.


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