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Tips for parents wishing to keep trust detail secret

Generally speaking, trust beneficiaries must be told about its existence and what they will eventually receive. However, parents in Virginia may not want their children to know about the trust for a variety of reasons. Therefore, they may want to pursue what is known as a silent trust. In some cases, they will be allowed to designate an individual to receive information on a beneficiary's behalf.

However, there will likely come a time when a child or grandchild will need to be told about a trust. This must generally occur by the time he or she turns 25. Beneficiaries must be told about the trust so that they can protect their rights. If they don't know about a trust, there is a chance that a trustee could make distributions or otherwise take actions that aren't in their best interest. Both common law and the Uniform Trust Code (UTC) both require that beneficiaries are told about a trust at some point.

Even if a parent could waive the requirement that a trustee communicates with a child beneficiary, good communication may be in everyone's best interest. This can be especially true if the trustee has the ability to decide when distributions are made. Those who have questions about trust laws and guidelines should talk to a professional before creating a trust document.

During the process of estate planning, it may be important to take the needs of beneficiaries into account. Doing so may help guide a parent or grandparent during the course of creating a trust or other plan component. An attorney may be able to review a trust or help provide insight into how to create one. Working with an attorney may help a person meet his or her current and future estate planning goals.

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