Trusts are an important estate planning tool that can provide legal protection for a person’s assets, as well as reduce or eliminate estate taxes and prevent the estate from ending up in probate. Many people believe that trusts are reserved for the very wealthy, but that is simply not true. A trust attorney can help you decide whether a trust is an appropriate estate planning tool for your situation.
In short, a trust is a fiduciary relationship between a trustor and a trustee, in which the trustor grants the trustee rights to hold title to property or assets. Often, the trustor and trustee are the same person. Ultimately, the trustee will be responsible for distributing the trustor’s assets according to his or her wishes at death.
There are several categories of trusts: living or testamentary, revocable (living) or irrevocable, testamentary, charitable, marital, bypass (credit shelter), and more. These categories of trusts each serve a specific purpose. Again, a trust attorney can help you determine which type of trust is best for your unique needs and wants.