A:

It is not uncommon that wealthy individuals are concerned with leaving large sums of money to specific beneficiaries for the fear of those individuals acting irresponsibly with access to such a massive chunk of cash. To resolve this dilemma and to provide access to funds if income for a given year was low, trusts can include a "5 by 5 Power" to allow greater flexibility.

A majority of trusts are established to protect assets, and to provide for the ongoing well being of a specific loved one. In doing this, these trusts typically allow the beneficiary access to funds from the trust for an ascertainable standard relating to their health, education, support and maintenance. Many trusts will also allow the beneficiary access to the income that is produced from the trust investments each year.

In addition to this ascertainable standard and income payout benefit, the "5 by 5 Power" can be added, which allows access to the greater of: a) $5,000 per year, or b) 5% of the fair market value of the trust per year. This can help to guarantee an income beneficiary a minimum dollar distribution, regardless of the income generated from the trust. Be aware: should the beneficiary elect NOT to exercise their 5 by 5 Power over the year(s), adverse tax consequences could arise.

(Learn more about trusts by reading Pick The Perfect Trust.)

The question was answered by Steven Merkel.

RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the keys to setting up a trust fund?

    Setting up a trust to secure your assets for a beneficiary allows you to set the terms under which the beneficiaries are ... Read Answer >>
  2. How are trust fund earnings taxed?

    Trust fund earnings that are distributed are paid by the beneficiary. The trust pays taxes on retained earnings and principal ... Read Answer >>
  3. Do beneficiaries of a trust pay taxes?

    Learn how interest income from a trust is taxed, and understand when this money is taxable to the trust and when it is taxable ... Read Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between revocable and irrevocable intervivos trusts?

    Learn what an inter-vivos trust is, the difference between an irrevocable and a revocable inter-vivos trust, and why it is ... Read Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between a revocable trust and a living trust?

    Learn how a revocable trust and living trust are two terms used to describe the same thing and what the key provisions are ... Read Answer >>
  6. Will I have to pay taxes every year when I receive the $25,000 from my trust fund?

    My inheritance is in the form of a trust fund that distributes $25,000 per year for 10 years. ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    How To Set Up A Trust Fund In The U.K.

    A guide to the whys and wherefores of setting up this most versatile of estate-planning instruments in the United Kingdom.
  2. Retirement

    How To Set Up A Trust Fund In Australia

    No, they're not just for the super-rich. But you need to know the rules.
  3. Financial Advisors

    Passing an IRA to a Trust: The Good and Bad

    Creating a trust is a common estate planning tactic, but naming a beneficiary to an IRA to a trust may have unintended consequences.
  4. Retirement

    Surprising Ways a Trust Could Help Your Family

    Everything you always wanted to know about setting up trusts, in handy glossary form.
  5. Investing

    How Trust Funds Can Safeguard Your Children

    Certain types of trust funds can help to protect your assets from bankruptcies and civil actions, and can be established to safeguard your children and designated beneficiaries.
  6. Products and Investments

    Irrevocable Trusts: New Trends You Need to Know

    Several improvements and additional provisions have been added to irrevocable trusts in recent years making them considerably more versatile than before.
  7. Retirement

    How to Set Up a Trust Fund in Canada

    You don't have to be rich to make use of a trust fund. Rules can be complex; here's what you'll need to discuss with your lawyer.
  8. Insurance

    Encouraging Good Habits With An Incentive Trust

    Money can be a powerful motivator - why not use it to teach your heirs positive lessons?
  9. Retirement

    Should You Put Your Faith In A Trust?

    Many institutions want a piece of your portfolio, but trusts can provide a one-stop shop.
  10. Personal Finance

    Surprising Uses for Trust Funds

    Here are five common situations where a trust fund makes financial sense.
RELATED TERMS
  1. 5 By 5 Power In Trust

    A common clause included in many trusts allowing for beneficiary ...
  2. Beneficiary Of Trust

    A beneficiary of trust is a person for whom a trust was created, ...
  3. Blind Trust

    A trust in which the executors have full discretion over the ...
  4. Bare Trust

    A basic trust in which the beneficiary has the absolute right ...
  5. Alimony Substitution Trust

    A trust agreement in which a divorced person agrees to pay spousal ...
  6. Credit Shelter Trust - CST

    A type of trust that allows a married investor to avoid estate ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Over-The-Counter - OTC

    Over-The-Counter (or OTC) is a security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange such as the NYSE, TSX, AMEX, ...
  2. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis for the reporting of earnings and the paying of dividends.
  3. Weighted Average Cost Of Capital - WACC

    Weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is a calculation of a firm's cost of capital in which each category of capital is ...
  4. Basis Point (BPS)

    A unit that is equal to 1/100th of 1%, and is used to denote the change in a financial instrument. The basis point is commonly ...
  5. Sharing Economy

    An economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else.
  6. Unlevered Beta

    A type of metric that compares the risk of an unlevered company to the risk of the market. The unlevered beta is the beta ...
Trading Center