Wills, Trusts, and Estates

Semi-Secret Trust

A semi-secret trust is when the will names a trustee, but not a beneficiary. Semi-secret trusts fail for want of an ascertainable beneficiary, even if the testator told the trustee outside the will how to distribute it.

The more modern approach is to allow extrinsic evidence to find a beneficiary for semi-secret trusts, but most states do not follow this.