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A trust is a fictitious legal entity that owns assets for the benefit of a third person (beneficiary). The grantor of the trust is the person who set up and gave money to the trust. The trustee of the trust is the person charged with keeping the assets safe, invested properly, and finally distributed to the beneficiary at the proper time.
It can be a very useful tool to protect assets, provide for future generations, give to charity, and minimize tax liabilities. Generally, trusts are a legal relationship in which a party, known as the settlor or grantor, conveys ownership of assets to another party, known as the trustee, or the benefit of the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the trust. Trusts are created by state law, and must comply with several procedural and substantive requirements in order to be valid.
Should I Hire a Trust Attorney?
Trust creation can be very complicated and the laws governing trusts varies significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. As a result, it is important for anyone considering creating a trust to consult with an experienced trust attorney in your state. Some of the ways a trust attorney may be able to assist you include:
- Helping identify which type of trust would most benefit you
- Preparing the trust documents
- Ensuring that the trust is formed in such a way that your goals are met
- Assist in other forms of asset protection and wealth management
- Representing you should any disputes arise in connection with the trust
Improper trust formation can result in a trust being held invalid, potentially exposing your hard earned assets to potential creditors. In addition, certain trusts have very specific requirements in order to be valid. Consulting with an experienced attorney is the best way to ensure that the trust you wish to create is effective and accomplishes the goals that you intend.
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