Charitable remainder trusts: a personal issue:

Total posts: [5]
1 feotakahari22nd Dec 2011 07:11:02 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
This is an entirely personal issue, and TV Tropes may not be the best place to ask about it, but I'm not sure where I would ask about it, and I know the people here are relatively nice, so here goes:

My grandparents were rich. Not Richie Rich rich, but definitely richer than my parents. When they went senile, most of that money went to psychics and phony "contests" while we tried and failed to prove that they were no longer capable of handling it, so my parents inherited almost nothing from them. My father had previously mentioned farmland that was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars when they sold it, but I assumed the money from that had also gone to the psychics and the contests.

Today, in response to a question, he explained to me that the farm money had gone into something he called a "charitable remainder trust." According to the people my grandfather had made the trust with, 6% of the value of the trust would be divided between my father and uncle every year for the rest of their lives, and upon their deaths, the remaining money would go to charities my grandfather had specified. (I have looked on Wikipedia, and this is in fact how a "charitable remainder unitrust" is meant to be distributed.) My father grew suspicious of the bank that was handling this, so he transferred control of the trust to another bank—which told him that the money was supposed to be 6% of the profit made on the trust, and forced him and my uncle to give it thousands of dollars to make up for previous "overpayments." My father and uncle have since not seen a single dime of the profit they were supposed to be paid.

My father has currently given up on ever getting the money back, but my brother mentioned to him that there might be laws under which he could lodge a suit. Would the law work for him or against him in this case, and if it would work for him, how might I revitalize him? (My father is past normal retirement age, and that money would greatly help him once he becomes too old to work.)

(If it matters, my grandparents lived in Illinois, and I believe the trust was initially established there. The bank that currently oversees it is in California. My grandparents died three years ago, and the trust must have been established shortly before that, but I'm not sure when my father switched banks.)

edited 22nd Dec '11 7:13:22 PM by feotakahari

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2 Joesolo22nd Dec 2011 07:16:44 PM , Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Indiana Solo
I wish I could help, but I don't know much about that sort of stuff, besides not trusting "Psychics".(So many stories like this, they should be made illegal) I wish you and your dad luck though.

edited 22nd Dec '11 7:17:09 PM by Joesolo

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3 USAF71322nd Dec 2011 07:20:39 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
I imagine Lawyerdude probably knows something about this, or someone who does.
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4 Madrugada22nd Dec 2011 11:19:36 PM , Relationship Status: In season
You need a lawyer, and the lawyer needs to see both the original trust papers and the ones that the current bank has.

The short answer is that a trust can be set up either way, so that the payments come from either the principal (the original understanding you father had), or that they come from the interest (the situation that the current bank says holds true.) However, unless the bank is mismanaging the fund completely, there should always be some amount of interest each year, however small. Even if the bank just puts the funds in a regular savings account, it would be getting 1% or so. The only way that there could be no interest for them to pay out on would be for them to have it in a non-interest-bearing account, or for the amount of interest to be smaller than the administrative fees. And both of those would constitute mismanagement— trust funds are supposed to be handled for a balance between rate of return and security.
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5 TheGloomer23rd Dec 2011 02:52:45 AM from Northern Ireland
Inadequate law student
If the monies are being held on trust for them and they haven't received any of it, there might have been a breach of trust. Do you have any idea who the trustees are in this case? Has any of the trust fund been misapplied or misspent? If that's the case, it might be possible for them to initiate proceedings to claim restitution.

That being said, I don't know enough about how equity works in America to say anything for certain.
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Total posts: 5