What is a Trust?

Trusts can provide a measure of comfort knowing that you have a plan in place to help provide for the safe and accountable management of family assets and to direct their use in accordance with your wishes, goals and objectives during your lifetime and long afterwards. A trust is a formal legal document used to communicate your instructions for the management of all or part of your property. The trust document describes:

  • How you want your assets managed, and eventually distributed
  • Who you want to benefit from your assets now and in the future
  • Who you want to be responsible for carrying out these instructions

While tax planning was historically the primary reason for creating trusts, today, family planning, creditor protection, and asset preservation are the primary drivers. Trusts also provide protection for family members who may be unaccustomed to dealing with financial matters. They can offer protection of assets in the event of divorce or other litigation, or can ensure that funding is available for specific needs, such as education, health care or charitable interests.

An attorney who represents you and has expertise in the area of estate planning should create your trust. It’s important to consider who you want to manage your assets (trustee) and who will benefit from the trust, both now and in the future.