What is an Honorary Trust? Meaning & Overview

The phrase honorary trust refers to an arrangement in which neither a person nor a charity organization is named as the beneficiary. Typically, honorary trusts are formed for the care of a pet or the upkeep of an item.

What is an Honorary Trust?

An honorary trust is a fund established for a non-human or non-corporate entity, typically in a will. In most instances, individuals form an honorary trust for a surviving pet or to construct a monument.

What is an Honorary Trust?

There are restrictions on where and when an honorary trust can be established, and not all jurisdictions recognize them as valid. As the passing of Helmsley demonstrates, New York acknowledges some honorary trusts, and it may be difficult to fight a will including such a trust.

If the Honorary Trust is set up in illegal state, where will the money go

The funds are returned to the original estate if the trust is created in a state where it is prohibited. Others who profit from the will may receive additional funds, or relatives of the decedent may fight the bequest. In addition, a trust intended to construct a memorial might be disregarded.

What is an Honorary Trust?

If a person requests that a monument be raised in his or her honor on municipal or state-owned land, the city or state is not required to comply. The only thing that may inspire them to do so is a financial incentive.

For instance, a will may establish an honorary trust for the erection of a monument and give money to the local or regional government only if it complies with the individual’s intentions.

What is an Honorary Trust?

What is an honorary trustee?

The honorary trustee is a person established to see that the wishes of the deceased are carried out with respect to the honorary trust.

What is an Honorary Trust?

If the money set aside in trust is to care for a pet or pets, the honorary trustee might provide that care or would appoint someone to do so, and keep tabs on them to make certain that the trust was being honored in the manner stipulated.

If a person were an honorary trustee for establishing a monument, he or she would work with city or regional officials to attempt to honor the person’s wishes.

What is an Honorary Trust?


A trust that has neither a private beneficiary nor a charity objective is an honorary trust. There are exceptions to the rule that a trust is invalid if it has no beneficiary. Honorary Trusts can be established for the care of a pet or a monument.

What is an Honorary Trust?

It is called an honorary trust because the trustee is expected to respect and carry out the trust’s mission with honor. Some states permit Honorary trusts so long as their aim is legitimate and their duration is limited.

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