Q: Can you pay for child support from a trust where the child is the beneficiary?
My wife and I are recently divorced. Years prior to our divorce, we set up trusts for each our daughters. I am the trustee and my daughters are the beneficiaries of each of their trusts. The trusts own shares in a private company that may have a substantial liquidity event in the near future.
Considering that the trusts are intended to support the expenses of my daughters, can I pay for their child support from these trusts? Additionally, can I pay their private school tuitions from these trusts?
A: It depends on the language of the trusts. You are going to need reread the trusts and consult with an estate planning attorney who can review them with you.
A: If agree with Shawna. It depends on why you set the trust up the way you did (trustor’s intent) and the language of the trust. If the purpose of the trust was to provide for the child’s education and there are no prohibitions in the trust on using trust funds for such purpose, then yes, you may use trust assets for such purpose. Some trusts specifically prohibit the trustee from using trust funds to pay for a child’s expenses that are the legal obligation of another, such as a parent. Consult with a trusts and estates attorney before making any decisions.
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