How charitable trusts differ from other types of trusts

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2017 | Trusts

Charitable trusts are governed by somewhat different rules than other types of trusts. People in Nevada who are creating an estate plan that includes a charitable trust may be interested in learning that it can last into perpetuity unlike other types of trusts. This is prohibited with regular trusts to prevent actions, such as someone trying to keep a property in a family indefinitely.

The reason for the different treatment of charitable trusts is that they are often established for purposes that are for the good of the community. The cy pres doctrine allows a trust to be altered to continue rather than allowing it to fail because it can no longer fulfill its exact original purpose. An example might be if the trust were set up to fund an educational foundation, which ceases to exist. The trust could then be changed to fund a different foundation. This doctrine is recognized by most courts.

Another difference between a charitable trust and a regular one is that the former doesn’t require a beneficiary to be named. The beneficiary is considered to be the public welfare.

A person who is trust planning may want to discuss the options for different types of trusts with an attorney based on the estate and his or her needs. For example, if someone has a relative with special needs who receives government benefits, a special needs trust can be set up to care for that person without interfering with those benefits. An individual might also have a loved one who is irresponsible with money. In that case, someone may use the trust to specify when his or her loved one receives distributions. This could be tied to specific milestones, such as reaching a certain age or getting married. A trustee also could be appointed to make decisions about distributions to beneficiaries.