Listen to Lawrence…Can a trustee take money out of the trust at any time?

January 21, 2021
In a previous LISTEN TO LAWRENCE email, I spoke to you about how irrevocable Medicaid trust assets cannot be returned to the grantor or spent on his or her behalf. Remember, “if the grantor can get it, Medicaid can get it.” On the other hand, I also said that the Trustee could pay out trust money to the trust beneficiaries (usually the kids and grandchildren) who can use that money for anything, for themselves or anyone else.
Does this mean that my trustee (my son) can take money out of my trust at any time? I did not intend to give him so much control.
Good news! Most of you trust your kids whom you appoint as trustees…but I don’t. My job as your lawyer is to protect you, so I have to remain skeptical at all times. This is why I build a safeguard into all my irrevocable trusts that say that the trustee must receive your WRITTEN consent in order to pay out trust assets to the trust beneficiaries. You retain all the control. PHEW!
I hope this helps! Please forward this information to your friends and relatives.
As always, please send me your questions. If you are thinking about it, others are probably too, so my answers will no doubt help you and many others.
Let’s stay connected.
Stay safe!