How Long Does a Trust Last?


A Trust can last almost as long as its creator wants it to last,  but there are some limitations and those vary from state to state. In most states, a Trust cannot last longer than about 21 years after everyone alive when it was created has died. Some states, however, have done away with this rule in favor of longer running trusts or more simplied calculation. In California, a trust may be permitted to continue beyond the 21 year limitation as long as it ends within 99 years. Delaware allows trusts to continue up to 300. Some states have no expiration at all.

A Trust may also end early if it runs out of property, or if the value of the property is so low that it doesn’t make sense to continue as a Trust anymore. It can also end if a Probate Court orders it to end, but that usually only happens in special circumstances.

About Helene P. Dreyer Koch

Estate Planning Attorney (Wills, Trusts, Probate) Indian Wells, California * 760.360.2400
This entry was posted in Trusts and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How Long Does a Trust Last?

  1. Darlene says:

    my mother created a trust many years ago. One of the representatives told her that since it was dated back in 1997 that lawyers would not honor the trust since it is so old. They have to pay 100 dollars to resign. My mother is 97 and is still alive. Is it true they have to pay this amount. They live in Pennsylvania

    • I do not practice in Pennsylvania, so I cannot speak to their laws. However, I can say that I would be utterly shocked if this were true. If a trust needed to be signed every few years, what would you do if the person making the trust no longer had capacity to keep signing? I would be mighty suspicious, but definitely check with an attorney in Pennsylvania. –Helene

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