Types of Trusts

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What Is a Trust?

A "trust" is a legal arrangement, typically used in estate planning, in which a property interest is held by one person (the “trustee”) at the request of another person (the “settlor”) for the benefit of a third person (the "beneficiary").

Trusts are extremely flexible and do not require many of the old-fashioned formalities still necessary to draft a will, or the added trouble of having the estate go through probate. For this reason, trusts are actually the most widely used estate planning tool.

What Are Some Common Types of Trusts?

Trusts come in a variety of forms and can be established in many different situations. The most common forms of trusts include:

Do I Need an Attorney to Create a Trust?

Trusts can be structured to handle a variety of situations, but careful drafting is essential to make the plan work. If you choose to create a trust, consult with an estate attorney experienced in estate planning. The potential tax implications and legal formalities of trust drafting make a lawyer's counsel indispensable. A lawyer can explain all your options and help you understand what type of trust is right for you and your family.

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Last Modified: 09-15-2014 04:30 PM PDT

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