Successor trustee discretion

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Successor trustee discretion

How much discretion does a successor trustee have in administering a trust. The
beneficiary is asking for a specific amount of money 30K to put down on a
home. Would this be considered justified as a maintenance distribution of their
assets? Thank you

Asked on August 13, 2017 under Estate Planning, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Generally, buying a new home is not considerd "maintenance": maintenance is paying necessary current expenses (rent, utilities, food, medical care, etc.), not investments, which is what a home is (as well as being a place to live). 
The above said: 
1) Every trust is governed by its own terms--how much discretion do the documents creating this trust give the trustee? Do they provide any definition of maintenance? Etc.
2) If there is one beneficiary, there is no conflict with duties owed to other beneficiaries.  If this beneficiary has requested this amount in writing, it is unlikely there would later be any challenge to it, since the money is going to the one person entitled to it.

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