What to do if I am the beneficiary of a modest trust fund and I want the Trust proceeeds distributed early?

UPDATED: Apr 27, 2013

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What to do if I am the beneficiary of a modest trust fund and I want the Trust proceeeds distributed early?

The Trust states that had I been 40 at the time of the grantor’s death, I would have received the entire amount. As the grantor would have been 110 years old when I turn 40, my interpretation is that it indicates the age at which the grantor felt it would be appropriate for me to have control of the funds. The trust states that the trustee has absolute discretion regarding distibution, and can choose to distribute up to the entire amount for health, support, maintenance etc. I have recently asked that this be done, as I am about to turn 40. The trustee has responded that dissolving it prematurely is a breach of the trust and will not release it. Is there any legal recourse I can take?

Asked on April 27, 2013 under Estate Planning, Maine


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

For a definitive anwer, consult with a trusts and estates attorney who can review the document forming the trust with you; a trust, like a contract, is governed by its specific terms or language, so a lawyer needs to review that language to advise you. That said, if the trustee has "absolute discretion," then he can refuse to turn over the trust early--"absolute discretion" means what it sounds like: the truetee can freely choose (within the confines of the terms of the trust) what to do.

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