There are a wide range of trust vehicles allowing you to accomplish a variety of legal, personal, investment or tax planning objectives. Types of trusts include Revocable Living Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts,
Testamentary Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, etc.
At the most basic level, a trust is a legal entity with at least three parties involved: the trustmaker (also called the settlor, trustor, or grantor), the trustee (trust
manager), and the trust beneficiary (the one who benefits from the trust). Often times, all three parties are the same person or a married couple. In the case of a revocable living trust, for example, a person may create a trust and name himself or herself the current trustee who manages the trust assets for his or her own benefit. Depending on the situation, there may be many advantages to establishing a trust, including avoiding probate court, saving estate taxes, and protecting children of a prior marriage. Generally, assets owned in a revocable living trust will pass to the trust beneficiaries upon the death of the settlor with no probate required. Certain trusts also may result in tax advantages both for the settlor and the beneficiary. Trusts may also be used to protect property from creditors, or simply to provide for someone else to manage and invest property for the settlor and the named beneficiaries. In addition, trusts can be drafted to manage a person’s assets in the event he or she should become incapacitated.
A living trust is the most common type of trust. It is a written document that allows you to efficiently transfer property to your loved ones during your lifetime or at your death. It is similar to a will except that a living trust has the advantage of not having to go through the expensive and time-consuming probate court process.
What a living trust does for you:
• Avoids probate and all its hassles and expenses.
• Allows you to keep full control over your property during your lifetime and to keep the power to
change or revoke the trust at any time.
• Provides for efficient transfer of property to your loved one’s upon your death.
• Provides privacy -- living trusts are kept private, unlike wills. Wills, upon death, become public, so
that anyone can read a will and know all about your private affairs, your assets, and to whom you
are leaving them. Living trusts avoid this public disclosure.