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'Busting' the trust

from by Richard A. Klass

Generally, a trust can be made invincible — no one can gain access to the moneys or property contained in it, not even the beneficiary. The "settlor" (the one who sets up the trust and funds it) appoints a trustee who will carry out his/her wishes and follows the directions contained in the trust document. While recognizing that the general purpose of a discretionary trust is to protect the trustee from unreasonable demands of a beneficiary or from creditors' claims, it does not insulate or protect the trustee from responsibility to and reasonable directions from a court. The issue of "busting" a trust set up by a grandparent for the benefit of a grandchild was brought up in a case over 40 years ago, in a case of first impression, before the beneficent Surrogate of Kings County, Judge Nathan Sobel. more

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