‘Gilmore Girls’: What Happened to Rory Gilmore’s Trust Fund?

A lot changed between the end of Gilmore Girls and the opening of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. The always studious and responsible Rory Gilmore was basically a professional failure who couldn’t even afford underwear. While fans were disturbed to see Rory fall so far from grace, her financial issues didn’t make a ton of sense. After all, Rory was from a wealthy family and had a trust fund. So, what exactly did she do with the money that was placed into a trust for her?

How much was Rory’s trust fund worth?

Rory’s trust was created by her great-grandmother, Trix. During an early visit, Trix mentioned Rory’s trust in passing and even considered changing the stipulations of the trust that would allow her to access it early. After some fighting within the family, Trix decided to leave Rory’s trust fund as it was, meaning she could access it at 25.

Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore and Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore
Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore and Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore | Warner Bros./Delivered by Online USA

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The trust fund wasn’t for a massive amount of money, but it wasn’t a paltry sum, either. Both Trix and Richard Gilmore mentioned the trust was worth $250,000. Richard also considered changing the stipulations of the fund to force Rory back to Yale. Although, he didn’t appear to go through with the plan.

Did Richard Gilmore leave Rory additional money in his will?

Since the trust fund that was spoken about often was set up by Trix, and not Richard and Emily Gilmore, it was assumed that Rory would have inherited a sum of money from Richard upon his death, too. Did it happen, though? It seems unlikely.

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The Gilmore family is believed to have been worth upwards of $50 million. Richard was an only child, meaning he likely inherited all his mother’s money upon her death. If he crafted his own will, it would seem likely he would have left money to both Rory and Lorelai Gilmore. That didn’t seem to happen, though. In Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Lorelai had to ask Emily for money for her inn. It seems likely that Richard left all his money to Emily, giving her free reign to disperse it as she wished.

How did she spend her money?

Rory made it clear in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life that she wasn’t ready to buy an apartment in New York. What was never mentioned is if that decision was a financial one or a personal one. Rory spent the years after Yale mostly traveling around and writing freelance articles. If she never held down a full-time job after leaving Yale, she quickly ran through her trust fund money.

Reddit users point out that the $250,000 trust wouldn’t have gone particularly far. First, Rory needed to pay back her grandparents for her tuition. The pair paid for two years of Yale. In 2003, the tuition for the academic year, including room and board, was $37,000. Since Christopher Hayden paid for Rory’s last two years of school, she would have owed Richard and Emily $74,000. That would have left $176,000 for her general expenses.

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Assuming seven years had passed between her accessing her trust fund and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Rory would have only had $25,000 a year to spend. That would have likely been enough to pay rent on her Brooklyn apartment, but not much else. So, in the end, if Rory was truly out of money, she likely didn’t spend it on anything extravagant, although getting a job probably would have been a better option than living off of her trust.