A trust is a relationship whereby property is held by one party for the benefit of another. A trust is created by a Settlor, also referred to as a Grantor or Maker, who transfers property to a Trustee. The Trustee holds that property for the beneficiaries designated by the Settlor in the trust agreement. People enter into minor trust agreements all the time without even realizing it. For example, imagine that you are moving out of the country and want to give your sister some valuable coins you … [Read more...] about What is a trust?
A Last Will and Testament probably serves as the foundation of your estate plan. As your estate and your family grow, however, you may wish to consider switching to a trust as your primary asset distribution method. Whether you want to use a Will or a trust to distribute your estate is something that can truly only be decided after consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney; however, there are some common considerations when deciding whether a Will or a trust should be used. If your … [Read more...] about Should I use a trust instead of a Will to distribute my estate?
A trust agreement is the name of the document used to create a trust. Within the trust agreement are the terms, created by the Settlor, that dictate how the trust will operate. Trust administration refers to the Trustee’s job of overseeing the terms of the trust in action. As a general rule, the more complex and/or valuable the trust assets are, the more time consuming and complicated it is to administer the trust. … [Read more...] about What is trust administration?
A trust can help achieve a wide range of estate planning goals; however, some of the more common uses for a trust include: Avoiding probate Incapacity planning Asset protection Medicaid eligibility planning Planning for parents with minor children Special needs planning Pet planning … [Read more...] about Why might I include a trust in my estate plan?
The answer to this question often depends on the purposes for which you created your trust. For many people, an adult child is a fine choice for a Trustee. In other circumstances, a professional Trustee may be appropriate. The guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney will be helpful to you in choosing your Trustee. … [Read more...] about Who should I appoint as the Trustee?
In general, the Trustee is responsible for administering the trust using the trust terms created by the Settlor and managing the trust assets. Some of the specific duties and responsibilities of a Trustee include: Following all trust terms unless they are illegal or unconscionable. Communicating with beneficiaries. Investing trust assets using the standard set forth in the trust agreement. Managing trust assets. Distributing trust assets. Keeping trust records. Preparing … [Read more...] about What does a Trustee do?
Living trusts can be further divided into revocable and irrevocable living trusts. A revocable living trust can be amended, revoked, or terminated by the Settlor at any time and for any reason. An irrevocable living trust may provide for authority to amend depending on the purpose of the trust, and may even be revoked or terminated under certain circumstances. … [Read more...] about Are there different types of living trusts?
All trusts are can be broadly divided into two categories – testamentary and living trusts. A testamentary trust is one that does not become active until the death of the Settlor and which is typically triggered by a provision in the Settlor’s Last Will and Testament. A living trust, also referred to as an “inter vivos” trust, activates when all formalities of creation are complete and the trust is funded. … [Read more...] about Are there different types of trusts?
A revocable trust is typically created for the purpose of transferring assets outside of probate process as well as for the purpose of protecting assets in case of incapacity. Many different kinds of assets could potentially be transferred to your revocable trust so those assets can pass on quickly to new owners. Some assets you may wish to transfer into your trust include intellectual property rights; ownership interests in businesses; real estate; stock shares; personal property with … [Read more...] about What assets should be in my revocable trust?