A Trust is a legal entity that can hold title to property for the benefit of one or more other persons or entities. The person who sets up the trust is called the Creator (also known as the Grantor, Trustor, Donor, or Settlor).

A Trust is an estate planning instrument that is often used to protect assets and assist with tax planning. Any assets included in the trust are not subject to probate. Additionally a Trust may be beneficial in tax related issues.

Revocable Living Trusts (Inter vivos trusts):

A revocable trust is a document (the “trust agreement”) created by you or your estate planning attorney to manage your assets during your lifetime and distribute the remaining assets after your death. The person who creates a trust is called the “grantor” or “settlor.” The person responsible for the management of the trust assets is the “trustee.” You can serve as trustee, or you may appoint another person, bank or trust company to serve as your trustee. The trust is “revocable” since you may modify or terminate the trust during your lifetime, as long as you are not incapacitated.

Irrevocable Living Trusts:

An Irrevocable Trust may address the same issues as a Revocable Trust, however it cannot be changed or amended by the donor. Any property placed into the trust may only be distributed by the trustee as provided for in the trust document itself.

Types of Irrevocable Trusts include, but are not limited to:

  • Charitable Lead Trusts;
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts;
  • Credit Shelter Trust;
  • Generation-skipping Trust;
  • Life Insurance Trust;
  • Marital Deduction Trust;
  • Trust for Benefit of Minors;
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts;
  • Supplemental Needs Trust;
  • Testamentary Trust.

A Testamentary Trust is created by your will, and it does not come into existence until the event of your passing, Such a trust has no power or effect until the will of the donor is probated. Although a testamentary trust will not avoid the need for probate and will become a public document as it is a part of the will.