Your parents left you an educational trust so that you would never have to worry about tuition costs. However, you have quickly learned that life comes with a lot of other costs, and you’re wondering if you can use the trust for anything else. It’s not as if you want to spend it all on a vacation or a new car. These are very real life expenses that you feel your parents would have approved of.
The way the trust can be administered simply depends on how it was written up. If it is a pure educational trust and the instructions say that only direct educational costs can be paid, you may be out of luck.
However, your parents went through a lot of what you are going through now. They understand how life works. There is a good chance that they put some flexibility into the trust. Many parents do.
For instance, the instructions may say that the trust is primarily for education, but that it can also be used for things like medical expenses, housing costs or maintenance and support.
A trust like this is designed more to give you the support that your parents would be happy to give if they were still with you. The flexibility allows you and the trustee to determine what uses are prudent. It does not give you complete freedom and the main goal is still education, but that flexibility can really help you when you need it most.
As you can see, it is important to understand the fine print and exactly what options you have when using a trust. Likewise, the trustee must be aware of exactly how to distribute the money.