Financial Planning for Generation X & Y Women
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Expert Q&A Archive

Should I include my children's trust on my Statement of Financial Position?
If I was the beneficiary of a trust fund for my children's college education (the trust is funded by my parents), would I list this as an asset on my Statement of Financial Position?
Martina A. Jimenez:
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You would list it once you took ownership of the funds!
Pablo M. Bianchi, CFP:
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Joan Koonce, Ph.D:
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Even though your parents created the trust to fund your children's education, you are the beneficiary, so it would be an asset on your Statement of Financial Position. If your children were the actual beneficiaries, then it would not be one of your assets.
Alyssa Rakovich:
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Rosemary Ervin, CPA:
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Go back and look at the document. If your parents set up accounts for your children, then children are the beneficiaries. Your parents may have named you as the trustee. If the Statement of Financial Position is for college aid, it should go on the beneficiary's (the student) statement, not the trustee. If your parents listed you as the beneficiary, it is meant for your college funding and it is on your statement of position.
Sharon P. Hardy, CFE:
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Although my knowledge of trusts is fairly limited, I still going to take a stab at trying to answer this question.

In my opinion, the key word in this person's question is "beneficiary"; she is the direct beneficiary of this particular trust, even though the funds in it are restricted for the use of her children's college education. So for what it's worth in my personal judgment, it becomes a component of her personal wealth and should be reported as an asset on her Statement of Financial Position.
Nancy Granovsky, CFP:
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As noted above, responses to this question differ widely. The question is not easily answered. Different college education savings plans (i.e., 529 Plan, Coverdell Education Savings Account, etc.) and different types of trust arrangements (i.e., Section 2503(c) trusts, Crummey trusts, etc.) are subject to specific sets of rules, so this question is best referred to a Certified Public Accountant who is familiar with tax law and accounting standards regarding personal financial statements and plan and trust rules. You may also wish to contact an attorney who specializes in estate planning.