Discretionary Trust Explained

A discretionary trust is a trust where assets are held in the trust by the trustee, and income or principal are distributed, in the trustee’s discretion, to the beneficiaries for health, education, maintenance and support, among others.

Oftentimes you’ll see language, typically IRS code type language, “reasonable comfort,” typically relating to providing for language that allows the trustee to make discretionary distributions, but doesn’t cause the assets to necessarily be included in the beneficiaries’ estate, for taxable purposes.

Separate language usually establishes the “sole and absolute” discretion of the trustee, without guidance about health education maintenance and support.

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