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How to end a trust

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People are allowed by law to determine the fate of their property and possessions after their death or inability to manage it. This must come as a relief to people who have spent their lives building businesses, eager to pass it on to a new generation or beloved cause. One of the best ways to manage assets is a trust.

The predictability and security of a trust to protect assets and those who are meant to receive them does not last forever. All trusts end eventually, and understanding how that happens will help you attain your goals in setting one up.

The grantor - who owned property now in a trust - sets up a trust for a beneficiary, and the person or organization responsible for the property is called the trustee. The legal document that sets up and governs the trust is called the trust instrument, and legal representation for the grantor is often a smart step in understanding what can be dictated and for how long.

Trusts can end when the property no longer exists under the trust. A common type of trust protects assets until a beneficiary is age 18; once that person has received the property, the trust will cease to exist. A trust that invests assets and pays an allowance off the interest may end when all capital and interest has been paid.

The clearest way to end a trust is when the grantor leaves instructions in the instrument on how and when it ends. The trustee can then prepare so distribute assets to the beneficiary. If there are no instructions, the trustee and beneficiary will have to work together to find a fair way to transfer assets.

Source: FindLaw, "How Does a Trust End?," accessed Sep. 19, 2017

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