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A Trust is a legal document that allows you to put conditions or restrictions on how your assets are distributed during your lifetime and after you pass away.  When you set up a Trust, you are called the Grantor.  The assets you place into the Trust are called Trust property.  And like a Will, the people who will eventually receive the Trust property are known as beneficiaries.  A Trust is managed by somebody, typically a third party, known as a Trustee. However, it’s also possible to name yourself as the Trustee and maintain control over your assets by creating a Revocable Living Trust.

There are numerous types of Trusts, each having a specific purpose. For example:

  • Avoiding probate by using a revocable living Trust;
  • Protecting minor children’s assets;
  • Protecting disabled children by using a Special Needs Trust or a Disability Trust;
  • Avoiding or reducing potential estate taxes;
  • Setting up an educational fund for your children;
  • Protecting children in the event of a divorce;
  • Making certain types of charitable gifts; and
  • Making sure your pets are protected and provided for after you pass away by using a 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