Maintaining a Residence
A popular use for a trust is allowing someone who is not the one-hundred percent beneficiary of an asset use that asset, such as a residence, for a set period of time after the decedent's passing before being distributed to the decedent's heirs. Common examples of this scenario include:
- Allowing minor children and their guardians to use a residence until the children are adults and/or finish school
- Allowing the surviving spouse of a blended family to use a residence before being distributed to the decedent's heirs
- Allowing other family members to use a primary or secondary residence before being distributed to the decedent's heirs
These scenarios often sometimes referred to as a "life estate". During this period of use, the trust may instruct the trust to pay for all, some or none of the costs associated with the home, which may include:
This type of provision can specifically state a period of time the person may reside in the home or the provision can allow the person the use and enjoyment of the residence for the duration of his or her lifetime until he or she chooses to no longer reside in the home.,/p>
Should the trustor(s) desire, he or she can include in the provisions the ability for the successor trustee to sell the home and purchase a new residence in the name of the trust for the benefit of the person(s).
If you are considering having this type of clause in your trust and desire that the trust pay for part or all of the expenses associated with the home, it is important that the trust have adequate funds to pay for these costs. Life insurance naming the trust as a beneficiary can be a source of funds for this provision.