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What is a trust? Conroe Texas estate planning attorney explains

Posted by Chris Peterson | Dec 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

What is a trust? Conroe Texas estate planning attorney explains

what is a trustIn additional to wills, the other major estate planning device is the trust.  Whether your estate plan should include one or more trusts is a question best answered by a licensed a Conroe, Texas estate planning attorney.  Here is some basic information about trusts that you may find helpful to read before meeting with an attorney.

How is a trust created?

A trust is created when a property owner (the settlor) transfers legal title of assets to a person (the trustee) who has the duty to hold and manage the asset for the benefit of one or more persons (the beneficiaries).

What are the trustee's responsibilities?

The trustee is responsible for administering the trust.  A trustee's responsibilities may include investing trust assets, accounting for and reporting periodically to the beneficiaries regarding the trust assets, making distributions from the trust to the beneficiaries, filing required tax returns on behalf of the trust, and ensuring that property within the trust is preserved and productive.  The trustee's duties and responsibilities are typically described in the document creating the trust.

What are the different types of trusts?

Although there are a number of different types of trusts that serve specific purposes, trusts can be divided into two general categories:

  • Testamentary trusts. These are created in a will and come into existence at death or some future time.
  • Inter vivos trusts.  These are created during the life of the settlor.  Inter vivos trusts can be either revocable or irrevocable.  Revocable inter vivos trusts are called living trusts.

Why might I want a trust as part of my estate plan?

Trusts can be used to:

  • Minimize estate taxes.
  • Avoid probate.
  • Avoid the need for a guardianship should the settlor become incompetent.
  • Provide a trustee who can manage the assets of minor or incapacitated beneficiaries.
  • Protect assets from creditors.

Contact the Peterson Law Group

For advice and assistance with all aspects of your estate plan, including the preparation of wills and trusts, contact a Conroe, Texas estate planning attorney at the Peterson Law Group.  Call us today at 936-337-4681 or 979-703-7014.

About the Author

Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is the owner of Peterson Law Group. He practices primarily in the areas of wills, trusts and estate planning; probate and trust administration; elder law; and business law. Chris is also the owner of Brazos 1031 Exchange Company.


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