This standard, which is usually related to an individual’s health, education, support, or maintenance, defines the allowable reasons for making a distribution from a trust. The use of an ascertainable standard disallows distributions from being included in a trustee/beneficiary’s gross estate for federal estate tax purposes. The use of an ascertainable standard depends on state law and may provide less protection for a beneficiary from creditors. You should discuss distribution standards with your attorney if the risk of a lawsuit or divorce concerns you.

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