People ask me: Can I use my trust during my life? I get surprised by the question, but for sure!
You might think of your Trust like your big backup savings account. Once you convey assets into your trust, here’s a very common story: a couple sets up their trust. They fund major assets into their trust, then during the life of the two of them they can they can change their trust at any time. They can pull funds out of their trust, spend trust funds, trade, they can sell away something that’s in their trust. All this is generally without restriction during their lifetime.
So it is fair to think of it like just a big savings account they have. After one of those spouses passes away that trust is still there and then typically (this is something we can craft in your particular trust) when one spouse has passed away the entire trust is still available for the health, education, maintenance and general welfare of the surviving spouse. In other words, for their life. The surviving spouse still has all the trust assets available for them.
What is typically locked in (the trust becomes irrevocable) is after the death of one of them, the decisions they made to make distributions to beneficiaries. Typically the Trust might say after the death of both of them there’s going to be distributions to children, to grandchildren, maybe to charities. So those things are locked in after the death of the first but for that surviving spouse, all those assets are still available and whatever is left — unless it’s set aside, preserved in some other way — whatever is left after the death of the surviving spouse, that’s going to go to the beneficiaries. So, hopefully that clears up a common misconception. Because that question throws me when I get it once in awhile.
I trust this information is useful to you. and as you know you can always find me at Estate Plan Kansas. Read more here.