The estate planning process can be complicated for the average person who has never had any experience navigating the world of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other estate planning documents.
Choosing the trust that best suits your needs can be one of the most difficult parts of the estate planning process. Generally, a trust allows a grantor, or creator of the trust, to transfer property into the trust, while a trustee manages the assets of the trust and ensures that the named beneficiaries get the assets they are entitled to when the time comes.
There are many types of trusts available, each with their own purpose and conditions. Some of the most common trusts to choose from include:
- Revocable trust – Allows the grantor to revoke the trust or make changes to the trust throughout the course of their life
- Irrevocable trust – Cannot be changed or revoked once it is created.
- Living trust – Trust created while the grantor is alive (can be revocable or irrevocable).
- Testamentary trust – Trust created after the grantor’s death, based on their will.
- Charitable trust – Trust intended to benefit the public or a specific charity.
- Special needs trust – Trust that allows individuals to continue to be eligible for government benefits, while still allowing them to obtain benefits from the trust
- Constructive trust – Implied trust
With so many trusts and other estate planning tools to choose from, it is important that you speak to a wills and trusts expert before making any decisions. An estate planning attorney can help you create your estate plan and help you update and modify your plan as the years go by.