If someone in your family sets up a trust and you are a beneficiary, when can you actually withdraw money from the trust? Are you even able to withdraw money at all, or does someone else have power over the trust? The answers to these questions can depend on what kind of trust was set up and what kinds of rules were established, but not to worry. A Rockland County trusts attorney can help you set up trusts with rules that are easy to understand and follow.
Who Can Withdraw Money From a Trust?
In most cases, a trustee is the one who can withdraw money from the trust. This is someone who the deceased has decided can be responsible for these assets. The trustee is expected to follow all instructions of the person who set up the trust, even if they disagree with them.
For example, if two siblings are supposed to split the assets in a trust evenly, a trustee has to accommodate that. This is true even if a trustee has a falling out with one of the siblings and no longer wants to give them their half of the trust. The trustee’s personal opinion does not matter here.
A trustee will generally withdraw money for a beneficiary who wants it or they can make purchases on their behalf using their money from the trust.
What Can You Withdraw Money For?
Money can be withdrawn for many different reasons. If the trustee is withdrawing money though, it must be for certain expenses relating to the trust, the estate, and its beneficiaries. Common examples include:
- Paying for upkeep and repairs of owned properties
- Paying off any debts of the estate
- Handling funeral expenses for the trust creator or a beneficiary
- Making investments in the best interest of the trust beneficiaries
- Paying professionals who handle estate issues, like lawyers and accountants
The trustee can also withdraw money on behalf of a beneficiary when it is requested, if the rules of the trust allow that. A trust often has some kind of requirement a beneficiary needs to meet in order to be able to access its assets, like reaching a certain age or finishing a college education.
Can the Trustee Be Changed?
In cases where it seems like the trustee does not act in the best interest of the beneficiaries or at the direction of the person who established the trust, they can potentially be removed. A probate court can help you remove a trustee who is not doing their job and replace them with someone who will follow the instructions left by the deceased.
Talk to Our Estate Planning Lawyers
When you are ready to learn more about all of your estate planning options, you should contact the Lauterbach Law Firm. We can answer any questions that you have about trusts, and we will make it easy to find arrangements that work for you and your estate.