Thought for the Day” #1052 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

February 12, 2018

A trust’s budget does not need to be complicated. Some trust beneficiaries are independent and able to manage their own financial affairs. In this circumstance, the trustee may only have to establish a system of payments to the beneficiary that are guaranteed to last over time, while keeping funds in reserve for emergencies (provided it’s possible to pay the beneficiary directly without compromising government benefits — in many cases, it isn’t). Other trust budgets are much more complex. The trustee must manage complicated investment portfolios that are specifically designed to provide for a trust beneficiary’s needs over time. For beneficiaries with disabilities, Trustees may have to pay for daily living expenses, extraordinary medical care, and once-every-ten-year resources like specially equipped vans. A trustee without a well considered budget will be flying blind when it comes to these expenditures–to the detriment of the beneficiary who may be counting on the trust’s assistance.