A Trust is a legal agreement wherein an individual (sometimes called the “Grantor”, “Donor” or “Settlor”) designates himself, another individual or an entity (known as a “Trustee”) to take legal ownership of specified assets. In exchange, the Trustee agrees to manage the trust assets and income for the benefit of designated beneficiaries according to the Grantor’s specified terms and conditions. This is known as a serving in a “fiduciary” capacity (i.e., service founded upon the obligation to diligently promote and protect the interests of another).
Trusts come in many varieties and can be used to accomplish a whole host of vital purposes, including avoiding probate, protection from creditors, tax avoidance, supplementing government assistance, keeping property in the bloodlines, avoiding matrimonial or divorce claims, and promoting privacy in family and business dealings. No two trusts are alike, however, and each must be carefully drafted in order to achieve its intended result. Following are just a few of the available options: Grantor Trusts, Revocable Living Trusts, Supplemental Needs Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts, Dynasty Trusts, Asset Protection Trusts, Credit Shelter Trusts, IRA Planning Trusts, AB Trusts, and Discretionary Disclaimer Trusts.