Plymouth, MI asked in Probate for California

Q: Could you tell me the difference between a "Family Trust and the educational sub-trusts".

This language is repeatedly used and I want to understand the differences.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Bruce Adrian Last
Bruce Adrian Last
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Pleasant Hill, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Plymouth, MI:

"What's in a name?" as they say.

Actually, it would be impossible to tell just from the name used, because Trusts generally define the terms like "educational sub-trust" or "Family Trust" in the trust document itself. (At least well drafted trusts do.)

For example, I could say in a trust "A gift of $100,000.00 to the Use for Anything You Want for Trust" and then later put in a clause that states "The funds of the Use for Anything You Want for Trust shall be only used for educational expenses."

What I can say is that a "sub-trust" normally indicates a trust which is formed and/or operates under the primary trust.

I recommend that you have an attorney review the trust and let you know how it operates. You will want an attorney that is familiar with the laws of the state where the trust is being administered, and the laws of the state that controls the interpretation. (Which could be different.) I would expect it would take 2-3 hours of attorney time to review the trust and answer your questions.

Best of Luck.

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