Can a trustee pull money from a trust account?
5 attorney answers
As you can see from the other answers posted here, there are many variables that you should be considering before taking action on your mother's request; particularly because you are her trustee and owe her various duties.
As trustee, you should have your own legal representation apart from any attorney who may or may not still represent your mother as trustor of her trust. Your own attorney will guide you through the proper steps to take in fulfilling your mother's request, and should also work with you as trustee, as you plan for your mother's future financial needs.
Contacting your own attorney is especially important if you are not the sole remainder beneficiary of your mother's trust.
I agree with the other attorneys here. Most revocable trusts contain language that allows the trustor (your mother) to gift trust property. However, Attorney Mayer provides particularly excellent advise. If your mother may be able to qualify for public benefits such as MediCal, then giving away her assets can disqualify her from receiving such benefits for 5 years. I would also advise your mother to speak with an elder law attorney familiar with MediCal and other public benefits.
Disclaimer: The above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. My responses are intended to provide general information about the question posted. I am licensed to practice in the state of California. The information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for conferring with or hiring a competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your state.
If the trust document was drafted by a local attorney you should consult with that attorney to determine whether you have authority to make gifts, and whether such actions will cause problems with your mother's medicare eligibility. Otherwise a review of the trust document by an attorney familiar with estate planning will be necessary.
Attorney Shields is correct. It all depends upon the language of the trust agreement. It also depends upon the type of trust. You mention medical care. If your mother qualifies for need-based benefits, be sure that any gifts from her trust do not disqualify her. Talk to an attorney who knows about elder law and public benefits.
Maybe. Your authority to make gifts from mother's trust is defined in the trust instrument. Check the trust and amendments to determine your authority.
Check with EP counsel to review tax implications of lifetime gifts from trust.