Esablishing a trust

Asked about 3 years ago - Westbrook, CT

what are the Fundamentals for establishing a trust and terminating a trust? And Once the principal of a trust is distributed does it still exist? Can a Trust exist with out a trustee?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Jeffrey L Crown


    Contributor Level 12


    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . Let's take your question apart and answer it one part at a time.

    In order to create a valid trust, there must be, (1) the intention to create a trust and to create a fiduciary relationship; (2) at least one ascertainable beneficiary other than the creator of the trust and (3) a "trust corpus" -- assets subject to the trust relationship. Sometimes this 3d element is satisfied by having the trust named as a beneficiary under a will, life insurance policy or retirement plan.

    Once a trust is created, unless it it revocable, it can only be terminated in CT if all of the parties in interest seek the termination, if all of the trust purposes have been fulfilled and no intent of the trust's creator (Settlor) is being frustrated. See the CT Supreme Court case of Adams v. Link. This could be different in a state that has adopted the Uniform Trust Code.

    If all of the principal is PROPERLY distributed, the trust may terminate. But it can continue in existence if the trust is named as a beneficiary under a will, etc. [see above].

    There is a maxim of trust law that "a trust will not fail for lack of a trustee." If there is no trustee office and no mechanism to replace him or her in the trust document, a court will appoint a successor trustee.

    I hope that this makes sense to you.

    Jeffrey L. Crown
    Trustlawyer, LLC
    Rocky Hill, CT


    Atty. Crown is licensed to practice law in Connecticut with an office in Rocky Hill. His phone number is 860-257-4330 and his email address is

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    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Atty. Crown is licensed to practice law in Connecticut with an office in Rocky Hill. His phone... more
  2. Eliz C A Johnson

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . One decides and declares s/he is establishing a Trust and then funds it. To terminate it, there will be terms in the Trust instrument saying how that can be done and often, disbursing all the assets is a trigger to terminating the Trust. A Trust can exist without a Trustee; usually there is a clause that says the Trust continues even in the inadvertent termination by the lack of a Trustee. You ask very broad questions with no detail. For effective help, you need to see an attorney in Connecticut.

    Use the web site to find an attorney in your area. In addition to that, contact your local bar association for referral to an attorney who specializes in this or talk to friends and neighbors to ask about an attorney they have used and liked. Often, but not always, the attorney will do an initial consultation free of charge. You will then be in a better position to determine what to do next. Best of luck to you!

    If you liked this answer, click on the thumbs up! Thanks. Eliz. C. A. Johnson Post Office Box 8 Danville,... more
  3. Thomas R. Olsen

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . No trust shall fail for the lack of a trustee. A trust is valid and still in effect even if it is empty of all assets. The "fundamentals" of a trust could never be covered in this venue, especially since we don't know what the purpose of the trust would be.

    Attorney answers to questions on are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client... more

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