Sample Children's Trusts

See how a will can create a "testamentary trust" to leave an inheritance to children.

Related Ads

The following examples show language that could be used in a will to to create trusts for children. The trusts wouldn't be created until after the death of the person making the will.

The first example shows a provision for an individual child’s trust, and the second example shows a will provision for a children’s pot trust--a trust for more than one child.

Learn more about Wills.

Learn more about Testamentary Trusts.

Learn more about Leaving an Inheritance for Children.

Individual Child’s Trust

Here is an example of a will provision that would create an individual child’s trust. The words in italics are explanations and would not be included in the will.

A. Beneficiaries and Trustees

All property left in this will to Bhamita Ranchod shall be held in a separate trust for Bhamita Ranchod until she reaches age 25. The trustee of the Bhamita Ranchod trust shall be Connor Jenkins.

[This clause provides that all property given to the child named in the clause shall be held in trust—that is, managed strictly for the benefit of the child— by the person named as the trustee until the child turns the age indicated. An alternate trustee may also be named in case the first-choice trustee is unable or unwilling to serve when the time comes.]

B. Administration of an Individual Child’s Trust

Th e trustee of an individual child’s trust shall manage and distribute the assets in the trust in the following manner.

Until the trust beneficiary reaches the age specified for final distribution of the principal, the trustee may distribute some or all of the principal or net income of the trust as the trustee deems necessary for the child’s health, support, maintenance and education. Education includes, but is not limited to, college, graduate, postgraduate and vocational studies and reasonable living expenses.

[This clause lets the trustee spend the trust principal and income for the child’s general living, health and educational needs. The clause gives the trustee great latitude in how this is done and what amount is spent.]

In deciding whether or not to make a distribution to a beneficiary, the trustee may take into account the beneficiary’s other income, resources and sources of support.

[This clause lets the trustee withhold the trust principal or income from the trust beneficiary if, in the trustee’s opinion, the beneficiary has sufficient income from other sources.]

Any trust income that is not distributed by the trustee shall be accumulated and added to the principal.

[Every trust involves two types of property: the property in the trust— called the trust principal—and the income that is earned by investing the principal. This clause ensures that the trustee must add to the trust principal any income that is earned on the principal, unless the income is distributed to the trust beneficiary.]

C. Termination of an Individual Child’s Trust

An individual child’s trust shall terminate as soon as one of the following events occurs:

  • the beneficiary reaches the age stated above, in which case the trustee shall distribute the remaining principal and accumulated net income of the trust to the beneficiary
  • the beneficiary dies, in which case the principal and accumulated net income of the trust shall pass under the beneficiary’s will, or if there is no will, to his or her heirs, or
  • the trust principal is exhausted through distributions allowed under these provisions.

[This clause sets out three events that may cause the trust to end. The first is when the minor or young adult reaches the age specified for the trust to end. If the trust ends for this reason, the minor or young adult gets whatever trust principal and accumulated income is left. The trust will also end if the minor or young adult dies before the age set for the trust to end.

If the trust ends for this reason, the principal and income accumulated in the trust goes to whomever the young adult named in his or her will to get it or, if there is no will, to the minor or young adult’s legal heirs—such as parents, brothers and sisters. A third occurrence that will cause the trust to end is when there is no trust principal left—or so little left that it’s no longer financially feasible to maintain it.]

Children’s Pot Trust

Here is an example of a will provision that would create a pot trust for more than one child. The words in italics are explanatory; they wouldn't be included in the will.

A. Beneficiaries of Children’s Pot Trust

Sammie DeJarlais and Chester DeJarlais shall be the beneficiaries of the children’s pot trust provided for in this will. If a beneficiary survives me but dies before the children’s pot trust terminates, that beneficiary’s interest in the trust shall pass to the surviving beneficiaries of the children’s pot trust.

B. Trustee of Children’s Pot Trust

Dave Jenkins shall serve as the trustee of the children’s pot trust. If Dave Jenkins is unable or unwilling to serve, Keely Jenkins shall serve instead.

C. Administration of the Children’s Pot Trust

The trustee shall manage and distribute the assets in the children’s pot trust in the following manner.

The trustee may distribute trust assets as he or she deems necessary for a beneficiary’s health, support, maintenance and education. Education includes, but is not limited to, college, graduate, postgraduate and vocational studies and reasonably related living expenses. In deciding whether or not to make distributions, the trustee shall consider the value of the trust assets, the relative current and future needs of each beneficiary and each beneficiary’s other income, resources and sources of support. In doing so, the trustee has the discretion to make distributions that benefit some beneficiaries more than others or that completely exclude others.

Any trust income that is not distributed by the trustee shall be accumulated and added to the principal.

D. Termination of the Children’s Pot Trust

When the youngest surviving beneficiary of this children’s pot trust reaches 18, the trustee shall distribute the remaining trust assets to the surviving beneficiaries in equal shares. If none of the trust beneficiaries survives to the age of 18, the trustee shall, at the death of the last surviving beneficiary, distribute the remaining trust assets to that beneficiary’s estate.

Create Your Estate Plan

WillMaker

Get Started with Quicken WillMaker Plus!

Everything you need to create a complete estate plan:

Write a legally valid will

Avoid probate with Nolo's Living Trust

Create a health care directive

Create a durable power of attorney

Prepare executor documents

Save on attorneys fees

Find an Estate Planning Lawyer

Need professional help?
Enter your zip code to find an estate planning lawyer. (e.g., 10110)
LA-NOLO5:DRU.1.6.3.20141021.28794