What is a Trust and why do I need one?
A trust is a legal relationship whereby one person, called the “Trustor” or "Settlor," transfers property to another person, called the "Trustee," who holds the property for the benefit of another person, called the "Beneficiary." The same person may occupy more than one position at a time. In the typical living trust, as long as the Trustor is alive, the Trustor is also the Trustee and Beneficiary. On the death of the Trustor, a "Successor Trustee" (e.g., child, friend, bank) takes over as Trustee and follows the Trustor's instructions, which are set forth in the Trust, concerning the distribution of property and the payment of taxes and expenses.
You need a living trust because they help to avoid probate and act as a disability plan, allowing your Trustee to manage your assets for your benefit if you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to manage your finances. For more information on trusts and probate, call our office to set up a free 20 minute consultation (619) 222-5500.