Trusts are a staple of many estate plans, and they serve a very important function for a lot of people. It is very easy to be confused by a trust, even though it is a fairly straightforward legal premise. A trust is simple a property arrangement between three people. The person who owns the property, the grantor, transfers the property to the trust, which is handled by an assigned individual, the trustee. The beneficiary is the person who ultimately gets the property, but only under the conditions outlined in the trust.
Ending a trust also may seem complicated, but it really depends on how the trust is outlined and how the trustee and the beneficiary deal with the trust upon the grantor’s death.
A trust can end under “proper” circumstances, which basically means that the trust is exhausted and the property within the trust has been passed on to the beneficiary.
The trust can also end based on what the grantor wrote in the trust. If the grantor specified an “end date” or condition for the trust, then the trust would end once that date is reached or that condition is fulfilled.
When a trust ends and there is still property contained within the trust, it is up to the trustee and beneficiary to work out how the trust is handled. This assumes that the grantor did not outline anything in the trust that deals with this scenario. Usually the property would be distributed based on the trustee’s and beneficiary’s interpretation of a fair distribution of the property to other beneficiaries.