West Bloomfield, MI asked in Estate Planning for Michigan

Q: I have an irrevocable trust I would like to gain access to. Is there any legal way to do so.

I am the beneficiary of an irrevocable trust that my father left. The terms are pretty simple. I get 4% a year from the trust, plush 18k/yr for medical, at the banks discretion. The trust began at a bank that has since switched companies 3 times and is now Huntington Bank. When I have asked in the past if I can use MY money for certain things, the reply has always been no. I would like to pay off my mortgage (130k) rather than pay for the next 27 years at 4.75% interest. Is there any way I can get control over the money?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Fowlerville, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: You can use one of the several companies (some more reputable than others) that will buy an annuity or other 'stream of payments' like you receive from this trust at a 'discount' and pay you cash up front. This will likely turn out to be MORE Than 5% interest you're paying on your mortgage.

You can use OTHER money anticipating this income stream to pay down debt.

You cannot, unless there is something in the trust document that you don't disclose here go after THIS money.

Without seeing the exact text of the trust it is impossible to determine if there are ways to go after this, but the question YOU need to ask is why did your father put these 'strings' on the money? Bear in mind that because the trust holds the funds, you have the right to an income stream but this is not 'your money' as you say. It is the trust's asset, and the trust agreement controls how it is used and distributed.

Seek local legal representation to review the trust terms and determine what, if anything, can be modified.

-- This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.

I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice

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