Can a trustee and beneficiary be the same person?

UPDATED: Nov 29, 2011

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Can a trustee and beneficiary be the same person?

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Estate Planning, Louisiana


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In a trust situation, the same person can be the trustor (person creating the trust), trustee (person who oversees, manages and distributes trust assets) and the beneficiary (person who has the benefit of the trust).

However, for estate tax planning, if the beneficiary of the trust is the same person as the trustee, then there is a possibility that assets of the trust could be picked up by the trustee's estate upon death due to the ability to control the corpus of the trust which defeats the whole purpose of creating such a document.

It is always best for an experienced Wills and trust attorney to draft a trust instead of a lay person.

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