• 15 minutes

Distributing Trust Assets


Full, partial or no discretion … the trustee’s job for distributions can vary greatly.

One big part of a trustee’s job, and one that beneficiaries are particularly interested in, is the distribution that the beneficiaries will receive from the trust. The trust instruments describe the types of distributions that can be made and whether the trustee is required to make distributions or whether the trustee has discretion over the distributions. The distributions standards in a trust instrument have a greater impact than just governing when the beneficiary can receive the income. They also have tax implications for estate tax purposes. Watch this video for an explanation of the different levels of discretion and the different standards that apply, as well as the different types of beneficiaries.

Runtime: 15 minutes



Brian K. Janowsky

Brian K. Janowsky

Schiff Hardin LLP

  • Counsel in the Private Clients, Trusts and Estates group of Schiff Hardin LLP, based in the firm's New York office
  • Counsels high net worth clients and business owners
  • Implemented sophisticated lifetime and testamentary wealth transfer techniques and advised fiduciaries and beneficiaries in the administration of trusts and estates
  • Frequent speaker on various estate planning topics
  • J.D. degree, cum laude, Albany Law School; B.S.B.A. degree, University of Pittsburgh, College of Business Administration
  • Can be contacted at 212-745-9534 or [email protected]
Jessica J. Birnbaum

Jessica J. Birnbaum

Schiff Hardin LLP

  • Attorney in the Private Clients, Trusts and Estates group in the Chicago office of Schiff Hardin LLP
  • Practice emphasizes all aspects of estate planning, including wills and trusts, lifetime gift planning, estate administration, charitable planning, and trust modifications
  • J.D. degree, magna cum laude, University of Pennsylvania Law School; B.A. degree, Northwestern University
  • Can be contacted at 312-258-5559 or [email protected]

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