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A Trust without A Beneficiary

Nov. 2, 2017

In Florida, in order for a trust to be deemed valid, the trust must meet certain requirements. One of these requirements is that the trust name a specific beneficiary. There are exceptions to this rule, however, and under certain circumstances, a beneficiary need not be named.

One of these circumstances is that of the noncharitable purpose (NCP) trust, which protects assets that are to be used in a specific way that is not considered to be charitable. Noncharitable purpose trusts have no obvious beneficiary. Some examples of a noncharitable trust would be trusts that are set up to:

  • Protect a valuable collection, such as a collection of fine art or boats

  • Maintain a home or other property

  • Care for pets

  • Support a purpose that is not technically considered to be charitable

How does it work?

Even though an NCP trust has no beneficiaries, it still needs to be enforced, and therefore needs someone to enforce it. This person is usually named in the trust itself, but if not, a court will appoint an enforcer. The purpose of the trust cannot be unlawful, and the trust can only be enforced for 21 years. Furthermore, the resources devoted to the purpose of the trust cannot exceed the requirements for the purpose. In other words, if a trust to care for one very expensive yacht includes a provision for 25 docks, this may be considered to be excessive, and the extra docks would be distributed as a part of the settlor’s estate.

Talk to a lawyer

There are various kinds of trusts that can meet your needs as a part of a complete estate plan. If you think you may want to set up an NCP trust or want to explore your options for other types of trusts, speak with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney for more information.