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trust question and financial aid

cc&bwcc&bw Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
I have twins applying to college next year. I am fortunate enough to be a beneficiary of a 1 million $ trust left to me by my father. The catch is, all the income from the trust is payable to my mother (she is still alive) until her passing. I also have no access to the assets the trust while she is living. Does this mean we will not get financial aid?

Replies to: trust question and financial aid

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 75,657 Senior Member
    Are you a beneficiary of the trust?

    Are the distributions from the trust being used to support your mother?

    I don’t think we know enough about this trust to give you an accurate answer.

    We were offered the chance to be beneficiaries of an irrevocable trust consisting of a vacation home worth well over a million dollars. We declined, but if we had accepted, our share of the trust value would have been a required listed asset...and we had NO potential of getting any money out of it...ever.

    Some schools will do a special circumstances consideration regarding this type of thing...and others won’t.

    There is a poster on this forum who dealt with a trust...

    @abasket or @intparent maybe? Or maybe they know the poster I mean.

    @BelknapPoint ?

    Oh...one more thing...need based financial aid is based primarily on income...so would you qualify for need based aid anyway?
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,881 Forum Champion
    Is your name on the trust? If so, it counts as an asset even if you’re not currently getting any funds from it.

    What is your income now? What are your assets?

    How much can you contribute per year per twin?

    Since aid will be affected, then consider looking for schools where they will get merit.
  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint Registered User Posts: 4,261 Senior Member
    Is your name on the trust? If so, it counts as an asset even if you’re not currently getting any funds from it.

    Not necessarily. But, as thumper1 points out...
    I don’t think we know enough about this trust to give you an accurate answer.
  • cc&bwcc&bw Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Thank you for replying. Yes, both mine and my sibling's name is on the irrevocable trust. 1/2 the current value is 1mm. The distributions are used to support my mother. We are house rich and income poor as they say, but I am reading that some schools cap home equity at multiples of income. My children are applying to schools that require the CSS. We also have 529's for each of our three daughters that were transferred to our names that the grandparents names. I appreciate you getting back to me very much! I have a lot of work ahead of me to do...
  • SouthernHopeSouthernHope Registered User Posts: 2,226 Senior Member
    edited May 9
    There are people here who are a million times smarter than me on these topics but if this were me (and I wish it were me! :) i'd pretend that the trust didn't exist. I'd look at the 529s, the 3 kids, the years they will be going through college, and then figure out how much - per year - that I could afford to pay and how much I would need via merit aid and/or loans. The trust is just gravy (though I get it that you're concerned that the trust will affect the FA equation).
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,734 Senior Member
    I only know about trusts in the kid’s names. My kids had small trusts left to them when my brother died. They didn’t have access to the money until they were 25. Colleges did ask for the info. At least one college improved their aid when I was able to provide proof that the money was not accessible.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 75,657 Senior Member
    :) i'd pretend that the trust didn't exist

    @SouthernHope I think the OP is wondering if and how this will affect need based aid.

    I agree that first and foremost...look at parent income and assets, and the money in the 529 accounts. IIRC, if you are the owner of these accounts, ALL must be listed on this first kid’s financial aid forms (is that correct @BelknapPoint ).

    It may very well be that you don’t qualify for need based aid anyway...

    You can try the net price calculators on some college sites of interest. Plug in your financials...without the trust...and see what you get for net costs and possible need based aid.

    If you are self employed, own a business, have real estate other than your primary residence, the NPC won’t be all that accurate.

    See what you get. Some folks do a lot of financial gymnastics when they wouldn’t get need based aid anyway.

    And...have your child start researching colleges where merit aid is a very strong possibility or guarantee. That is not dependent on your family financials.

    Also, determine what you think you can pay annually from the 529 account, your current income...and see what kind of budget you can set for annual college costs.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 19,375 Senior Member
    Sorry, it wasn't me....hope you can find out the answer!
  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint Registered User Posts: 4,261 Senior Member
    I agree that first and foremost...look at parent income and assets, and the money in the 529 accounts. IIRC, if you are the owner of these accounts, ALL must be listed on this first kid’s financial aid forms (is that correct @BelknapPoint ).

    Yes.
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