My Dad Doesn’t Trust Me Re: Our Trust

TO: Logan
FROM: Jay
SUBJECT: no subject

When my grandfather died, the family was shocked to discover he had left a considerable amount of money behind. Really, no one saw this coming. But it was basically set up in various trusts for his two sons and their children (so, one for my dad and me, one for his brother and his two daughters). I signed on as a trustee, but my dad is pretty much silent on what that means for me, or really any details. Any time I ask how much I/we have access to, he gives some answer along the lines of, “Don’t you worry about it,” or “When you’re ready to buy a house just come to me and I’ll write you a check,” which is very generous, but also unhelpful. How do I get a clear answer?

TO: Jay
FROM: Logan
SUBJECT: no subject

The comments are going to have good advice on this. Read the comments for sure. Also, know that this situation is pretty typical. I’ve chatted with a bunch of young people with trust funds or access to family money, and it’s a theme that they feel like they’re kept from knowing specifics about the money. You are not alone!

Here’s what I think you should do, based on nothing except my feelings: I think you should tell your dad that you’re spending a lot of time thinking and worrying about the future, and that it would help you plan for your future if you knew more about this trust. Is it enough that you shouldn’t be worrying at all? Is it enough that you could buy a house one day? Is it enough that you could buy a house today? What are you working with? I think you can do this over email, or the phone, or in person. But I think the key point to get across is that you’re spending a lot of time worried, and you think your dad has some information that will help you stop worrying.

Also: I’m thinking that if I were in this situation I’d be tempted to do some posturing about being an adult and signing on as a trustee and deserving to have the information myself because I’m a grownup—I don’t know if you are feeling this way. But if you are, I think you should try hard to avoid that line with your dad. It sounds like he just doesn’t want you worry about this, that he’s trying to protect you from having to worry about the trust. But he needs to know you’re worrying anyway, and that you’d feel a lot better if you knew the facts.

Hope this works! Write back if your dad is still like, nope I’ll never tell! And read the comments.

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