When people generally talk about education trusts, they mean that the money can be used to pay for tuition and related costs at a college or a university. It is important to note that, while this is how it often works, the trust does not have to be so limited. It can be used for other educational purposes.
For instance, perhaps an heir does not want to go to a four-year college and instead plans on going to a one-year trade school. The trust can still be used for that school even though it is different than a traditional college. Other examples of alternatives include educational workshops or private schools.
In some cases, students may only attend these workshops or classes for a short time. This is often done with study-abroad programs. A student may attend a specific college in California and then spend a semester in Hawaii, for example, taking a photography workshop and earning a certificate. They could then return to the college after completion of the workshop. The money from the trust can be used for tuition at both locations.
Much of the time, trusts are written to be flexible. The trustee gets to determine if something is an educational opportunity or not. This is why having the right trustee is so important. The terms of the trust can spell out many of the rules, but the trustee may still have to make important financial decisions at their own discretion.
Those who distribute these trusts, meanwhile, have a lot of responsibility, and it is important for them to understand their legal obligations.