1 faced with deployment, soldiers would transfer ownership of their property to a trusted friend to What everyone make sure their families were cared for. During should know the Roman occupation of the British Isles, the trust became a familiar tool to protect lands from about Trusts rogue governors and lords. The concept of the trust arrived on American soil along with the colonists. Author: Randall W. McKee, RFC. estate Planning Services, Inc. Trusts were once regarded only as a tool Box 9682 available to the ultra-wealthy. While this was true Rapid City, SD 57709 for many decades, there has been a proliferation Office Telephone: 605-721-7519, ext. 201 of use of these flexible and powerful planning tools. People have discovered that trusts can be We are not lawyers, accountants or investment useful for almost any socioeconomic class.
2 Advisors. We do not offer legal, accounting or investment advice. This article provides information designed to help you understand that there are The Structure of a trust several legitimate uses for trusts. Although we go Every trust must have four primary elements. to great lengths to make sure our information is The first element is the trust maker the person accurate and useful, we recommend you consult who makes the trust . This person can also be a competent specialist attorney if you want called the Grantor or Settlor. The second professional assurance that our information, element is the person who manages the trust and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to assets and performs the functions of the trust . your particular situation.
3 This article is provided This person is called the Trustee and can without warranty of any kind, either express or sometimes be the same person as the trust implied. maker or can be a professional or institutional trustee. There are more levels of trusteeship. For When people talk about trusts, it is usually instance, when the original trustees are deceased difficult to really pin down what they are talking or no longer to serve, then another person about . Most people have heard the term trust is appointed to take their place. That person fund but when pressed to explain what that is called the Successor Trustee. The third really is, most of us can't do it. With that in mind, element is the person or class of persons who the point of this article is to explain the history of will benefit from the existence and operation of trusts, outline the basic types of trusts and finally the trust .
4 This person is called a Beneficiary . address the operation of trusts. and the original beneficiary is sometimes the trust maker, however in many types of trusts the This information is not presented as legal or trust maker is not the beneficiary. After the trust accounting information. It is presented as a maker is deceased, then normally their children common-sense guide from a professional estate become the next line of beneficiaries. Of course, advisor and analyst point of view. if more than one person exists, they are called Beneficiaries. The final element consists of the The History of Trusts assets inside the trust . These assets are called The concept of the trust has been around longer the trust Corpus.. than most people realize.
5 As the story goes, the very first trust dates back to the days of the These elements are completely interdependent - Roman Empire about 800 In that society, no trust could exist if even one of these elements only citizens of Rome could own property. When did not exist. 62. Types of Trusts of the terminology before you can have an Trusts can be formed understanding of what these trusts can or can in literally thousands of not do. configurations. The uses are almost unlimited. Despite Common Uses for Different Types of Trusts these almost limitless While we're discussing the common uses for possibilities, there are trusts, let's address the most common type of only four major types of trusts Revocable, trust first the Revocable Living trust .
6 Irrevocable, Testamentary and Living. Some advisors would mention Domestic trusts and For most families, this trust acts much like a Offshore trusts, but even these must fit within Will its primary purpose is to distribute assets these four classifications. to the beneficiaries after the trust 's makers are deceased. That's about where the similarities Revocable Trusts between the Will and revocable living trust end, This type of trust can be amended, added to or however. revoked during its maker's competent lifetime. After the maker is deceased, this type of trust The revocable living trust 's ability to avoid typically becomes irrevocable. probate is often the primary reason families use them for distributing assets. Many generalist Irrevocable Trusts attorneys argue against making a revocable These trusts can't be changed after they are living trust and encourage their clients to have made.
7 There are many uses for irrevocable their estates settled through the probate process. trusts like funding legacies for children or This mindset is in direct conflict with the national grandchildren. Others might use an irrevocable organizations that support specialist estate trust to make gifts of property or life insurance. planning attorneys. The National Network of estate Planning Attorneys supports the notion Testamentary Trusts that most people benefit from a revocable This is the type of trust that is typically included living trust based estate plan. The American in a person's Will. A testamentary trust goes into Academy of estate Planning Attorneys lists the effect only after its maker has deceased. This revocable living trust as its number one estate trust could also be considered a revocable trust planning strategy.
8 Because your Will can be changed at any time during your lifetime. Why does a revocable living trust avoid probate? That's a good question. The answer is that Living Trusts all of us are not going to be living at some Any trust that takes effect during the maker's point in the future. If we have assets titled in lifetime is considered a living trust . Most people our names, then those assets will need to be and sometimes even legal professionals probated so they can go to our heirs. If we have misinterpret the distinctions presented here. a revocable living trust , the assets are already People are often heard talking about living out of our name. And even though we will all trusts when they really mean revocable trust . be deceased at some point, the trust lives on.
9 In Sure enough, the revocable trust is typically essence, when you fund your living trust (retitle a living trust , but irrevocable trusts are very your assets into the name of your trust ), you frequently living trusts, too! have performed what some refer to as a living probate.. The distinction here is important because you need to have a thorough understanding 63. Why should You Care who put her very personal information in the about Probate? parents' Wills. There is frequently other very The estate planning private information contained in probate files community consists of that families would prefer to keep private. professionals knowledgeable about estate law and Formal probate provides very little or no flexibility. regulations.
10 The professional The process to complete a probate is written in estate planners and lawyers steer clear of the law. There is very little or no flexibility in a formal pro and con debate over probate. Most of the probate. However, the adoption of the Uniform specialists would prefer that their clients' estates Probate Code has provided much more flexibility not be exposed to the probate process. The on estates that can be settled by informal reader should note that even though there are probate. reasons why specialists don't want their clients'. estate exposed to probate listed here, not every During the probate process, it is relatively easy potential problem listed will occur in every to challenge the Will. Any family member and probate.