A Trust is a legal contract that allows a trustee to control assets for the benefit of a beneficiary. Trusts can be arranged in many ways and can specify exactly how and when the assets pass to the beneficiaries. Think of a Trust as a legal place that holds and administers your property both during your lifetime and after you have passed away. You can specify the terms of a Trust, controlling when and to whom distributions may be made.
There are numerous types of Trusts, each having a specific purpose. For example:
- Avoiding probate (living trust)
- Protecting minor children
- Protecting disabled children (special needs / disability trust)
- Avoiding or reducing potential estate taxes
- Setting up an educational fund for your children
- Protecting children in the event of divorce
- Making certain types of charitable gifts
- Making sure your pets are protected and provided for after you pass away (pet trust).
For specific information on the following types of Trusts, please use the following links: Living Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Disability Trusts, Third-Party Special Needs Trusts