Some States follow the general principle of trust law that if a grantor is also the
sole beneficiary of a trust, the trust is revocable regardless of language in the trust to the contrary.
However, many of these States recognize that the grantor cannot unilaterally revoke
the trust if the trust document names a “residual beneficiary” who would receive the
trust principal upon the grantor's death or the occurrence of some other specific
When a grantor names heirs, next of kin, or similar individuals to receive the assets
remaining in the trust upon the grantor's death, assume that they are residual beneficiaries,
absent regional instructions to the contrary. In such a case, the trust generally
is irrevocable, subject to the NOTE.
When a trust is established for a beneficiary who is a minor, or if a court has ordered
the establishment of a trust for an incompetent beneficiary, assume absent regional
instructions and subject to the NOTE, that it is acceptable for “the estate of the
beneficiary” to be named as the residual beneficiary without causing the trust to
be considered revocable.
A trust may state that it is a “Grantor Trust” for tax purposes. Such a designation
does not necessarily mean that it is a countable resource for SSI purposes. You must
still develop the trust under these instructions to determine resource status for
SSI eligibility purposes.
The policies regarding grantor trusts may or may not apply in your particular State.
Field offices should consult regional Program Operations Manual System (POMS) instructions
or your regional office program staff if in doubt.