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Is a Trust Right for Your Estate Plan?

is a trust right for your estate plan?

A trust is a legal arrangement where a trustee holds property or assets for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. Trusts can be used in estate planning to manage and protect assets, reduce taxes, and provide for beneficiaries.


There are a number of different types of trust options available when it comes to estate planning, and it can be difficult to know which one is best for your needs. To help you get started, here’s an overview of the most common types of trusts and what they offer.

Living Trust

A living trust is just as it sounds: a type of trust that can continue to operate after you pass away. This means that it will continue to manage assets that have been transferred into it by the owner and will provide instructions for how those assets should be managed after his or her passing. With a living trust, the grantor (the person creating the trust) is able to manage and use the assets during their lifetime while ensuring that their assets will be distributed according to their wishes after they pass away.


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Revocable Trust

This trust is designed to be changed or revoked by the person who created it at any time, whether during his or her lifetime or after death. It’s usually created by a parent who wants to ensure that a child will receive money from an inheritance but doesn’t want that child to have access to all of it until he or she reaches a certain age.

Irrevocable Trust

An irrevocable trust is intended to be permanent, meaning that once money has been deposited into an irrevocable trust, it cannot be removed from it without going through court proceedings. An irrevocable trust is typically used when someone wants to keep their assets separate from the beneficiaries who will receive them in order to avoid probate fees and taxes on those assets.

Testamentary Trust

A testamentary trust is established at death, through a will or other estate planning documents. The beneficiary receives income from the trust, which is managed by a trustee appointed by the deceased person’s will or by law. If there is no beneficiary listed on the document, then the estate will go directly to the heirs.


Trusts to Reduce Tax

Trusts can also be used to reduce taxes on estate assets. For example, a charitable trust can be used to donate real estate to a charity while providing the grantor with tax benefits. A qualified personal residence trust (QPRT) can be used to transfer ownership of a primary residence to the trust and reduce estate taxes.

Is a Trust Right for Your Estate Plan?

Estate Planning

Overall, trusts are a powerful tool in estate planning that can help retirement planners manage and protect their assets, reduce taxes, and provide for beneficiaries in a variety of ways. Of course, it’s always important to consult with a qualified estate planning attorney to determine the best strategy for your unique situation.

Originally published May 15, 2023

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