What is a Trust?

There are different kinds of trusts that can be created. A Trust is a very important tool in Estate Planning. Trusts are established to provide written guidelines on how to protect, utilize and/or distribute someone’s assets based upon predetermined wishes. It directs how an individual’s property will be distributed upon their death, and also works to consolidate management of assets during life. Assets held in trust avoid the expense and headaches of probate upon death. Trusts also have the advantage of being private- the terms of a trust are not made public as would the terms of a will. The Settlor (creator), Trustee (manager), and beneficiaries of a trust are the only ones who ever need to know the terms of the document.

There are Revocable Trusts & Irrevocable Trusts. Revocable Trusts allow the owner of the trust to be a trustee. The trustee can make changes whenever they choose, however they choose.

Irrevocable Trusts are trusts established where the owner and the trustee cannot be the same person. The person setting up the trust chooses someone they trust to be the trustee (such as an adult child).

Visit our Wills and Trusts page for more information on this subject.