The Debt Crisis Lesson

As the United States Government’s spending continues to reach stratospheric levels and outpace tax revenues by over $1 trillion per year, and push against the statutory debt ceiling (the amount the U.S. Treasury is legally allowed to borrow to pay the Government’s bills), there is an important lesson for estate planners and families setting up trusts to provide for future generations.

The debt crisis lesson is be sure you have enough money in your trust to provide for the unexpected. Uniform Trust Code sec. 414(a) provides that a trust may be terminated by the court after the trustee provides notice to the beneficiaries if the amount held in trust is less than $50,000 (the UTC’s suggested amount, which adopting states are free to change), because maintaining a trust with a smaller amount would be uneconomical. My home state of Kansas, which was the first state to adopt the Uniform Trust Code in 2003, allows a court to terminate a trust containing less than $100,000. K.S.A. 58a-414(a).

Is your trust properly funded? Does it contain enough money to provide for you and your family if the unexpected occurs, or a rainy day arrives? Do yourself and your family a favor – be sure your trust is properly funded.

(c) 2011, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq. All rights reserved.

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