Establishing A Trust

A trust is an arrangement wherein a trustee holds assets (in trust) on behalf of one or more beneficiaries. Trusts come in many shapes and sizes and are personalized to address the particular needs of the parties involved.

A trust may be used to control when children inherit money, for example half on their 25th birthday and half when they turn 30 years old, or to hold that money indefinitely with creditor protections for your loved ones. A trust can be used to avoid probate. This is particularly useful for individuals who own property in multiple states, as the executor is required to probate each property in its home state.

Trusts can also be helpful in estate planning for blended families, families facing potential estate taxes, and families who have a disabled child or grandchild receiving income contingent government benefits, such as Medicaid or Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI). You can even leave money in a trust to be used for the benefit of your pets. Not everyone needs a trust, but it can be a useful tool in carrying out your wishes both during your life and after your death.