Q: When does a testamentary trust terminate?
A friend passed away leaving his house to his son in a testamentary trust. The Will reads: “The trust shall terminate upon my son attaining the age of 40”. His son is 52 so the Executrix/Trustee is transferring the property over to him. She refuses however to transfer the life insurance proceeds for which she is the designated beneficiary “in trust”. She says that the trust terminated when the son reached age 40 and claims that the proceeds are hers. She is the second wife and has both roles, i.e., Executrix and Trustee. Wouldn’t the trust terminate or expire only once the assets have all been paid to the beneficiary of the trust? How can she manage to keep the money if it is paid “in trust” ?
A: Based on your post, only the house is in trust. A designated beneficiary keeps the proceeds. If the designation is her alone and not her as trustee, she is doing the right thing.
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