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What happens if there is an irrevocable trust set up and the beneficiary dies? Does the money go to the beneficiaries spouse?

New York, NY |

What happens if there is an irrevocable trust set up and the beneficiary dies? Does the money go to the beneficiaries surviving spouse or does it go back to the trustee?

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Attorney answers 4


The answer likely lies within the trust document.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


You, or preferably your attorney, should review the trust documents. They will outline what happens to the funds. Best of luck to you.


Roman Aminov, Esq.

Law Offices of Roman Aminov

Estate Planning - Elder Law - Probate

147-17 Union Turnpike | Flushing, New York 11367
P: 347.766.2685 | F: 347.474.7344 |

This answer does not constitute legal advice and no attorney client relationship has been formed. Before choosing a course of action, it is always advisable to seek the advice of an attorney in your area.


A review of the trust documents should provide your answer. It is impossible to know without reading them.

When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel.


As the other attorneys have stated, it depends upon how the trust document was worded. The attorney who drafted it likely inserted language dictating who becomes the new beneficiary upon the old beneficiary's death.

Sincerely yours,
Pinni Bohm, J.D., LL.M. in Taxation

Phone: (212) 920-5224

I am only licensed to practice law in New York, so this is just general educational information. You will need to contact a local attorney to attain information that pertains to your specific circumstances. No attorney-client relationship exists between us.

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