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No. of Recommendations: 19
The more I read, the more confused I get.

The only thing I'm pretty sure of is that you're beyond the scope of anonymous internet board discussions. You're going to need some professional assistance with these issues - at least to get started.

You need an attorney to read and interpret the trust documents.
You need a tax professional (I'd go with an EA or a CPA) to advise on the tax issues. I would not use an attorney for tax advice.

My suspicion is that the attorney who said you didn't need to file a trust return was wrong. (Or quite possibly you heard him/her wrong.) This sounds like the kind of trust that will need to file returns. The trust itself won't pay tax if you distribute the earnings to yourself, but it still has to file a return.

On the investment side, I'm a simpleton. I'd try to get things into the simplest investments that accomplish your goals. I see nothing wrong with sticking with just a couple of low cost mutual funds. The most important thing I can suggest in this area is: Do not invest in anything you do not understand.

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