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Understanding Trust Terminology

Understanding Trust Terminology

What you need to know about Trusts

The more you understand about what a trust is, how it works, and how you can benefit greatly from this legal document, the more you will know how it can protect ones assets. Read on…

A trust is a legal entity under which the “TRUSTEE” holds legal title to property for the benefit of “beneficiaries.”  The trustee must follow the rules provided in the trust instrument.

An IRREVOCABLE trust is one that cannot be changed or rescinded by the person who created it and the person who created it cannot be the TRUSTEE, while a REVOCABLE trust allows the creator to change or rescind the trust and the creator can be the TRUSTEE.  

Trusts are often used for tax planning, to avoid probate, to allow for someone with expertise to manage assets, to shelter assets, and protect them from creditors, to protect assets for disabled persons, (Supplemental Needs Trust) and/or for long-term care planning.

cont…. Read Will and Probate below

A Will is a legally binding statement that instructs who will receive your property at your death and appoints a legal representative, EXECUTOR, to carry out these wishes.  A Will only covers probate property and not joint property, trust property, or life insurance proceeds.  However, the Will can create a TRUST for the benefit of a person or an organization.  In order for the terms in a Will to be enforced, the Will must be filed in Probate Court.

This is the name for the process in the Probate Court through which the ownership of your assets is transferred to your heirs. This process includes the collection of your assets, the payment of your bills, and the distribution of assets that you own outright.  The Court will issue LETTERS TESTAMENTARY to the Executor named in the Will.  If the Will contains a Trust, the Probate Court will issue LETTERS OF TRUSTEESHIP to the TRUSTEE. 

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