What are my personal tax consequences as trustee of an irrevocable trust?

Asked almost 5 years ago - Napa, CA

If I become the trustee of my uncle's assets in order for he and my aunt to qualify for long term care under Medi-cal, will I have to pay any taxes on the interest that the investment earns or does the trust pay the taxes? Do I have to claim the interest when filing my personal tax return and the trust repay me? He has $400,000.00 in an investment which he wants to transfer to me for an irrevocable trust and I do not want this to affect my taxable income, either for the initial transfer or the regular returns of the investment.

Additional information

We are talking about an irrevocable trust account that will be re-invested and (presumably) earning interest on an regular basis.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Phillip Clarence Lemmons

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Owner of the interest producing asset pays the taxes. Since the asset was in the trust, the trust is owner. The trust needs to pay taxes. As trustee you have a duty to make sure that's done. You should consider hiring an attorney to help you administer the trust.

  2. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . You must make a distinction between trustee and beneficiary. A trustee administers a trust and has certain fiduciary duties he or she must follow along with following the terms of the trust. A person who is merely a trustee does not share in any income.
    Beneficiaries on the other hand are the ones who receive income and/or principal from a trust. Only if you are a beneficiary who receives income from the trust you would pay income taxes on the trust income.
    However, a person can be both a trustee and an income beneficiary.
    But, generally speaking, if you are only a trustee you should not have any income tax problems.


    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law in PA. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

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