Trusts: Living and Testamentary

A trust is a legal document that creates a “fund” to manage assets. There are two basic types of trusts, living trusts and testamentary trusts; and there are dozens of variations of these two types of trusts.

A trustee, either an individual or an institution such as a bank or trust company, manages the assets held in a trust. The trustee manages and distributes said assets in the manner set forth in the document creating the trust. In this sense, each trust is unique.

A living trust can be useful in several ways. A person, while still competent, may transfer all of his or her property into a trust to be used for their benefit for the duration of their life. Upon their death, the decedent’s assets can be distributed to their inheritors free of probate administration, saving families both time and money.

Trusts can also be used to set up funds for the benefit of a minor or someone who needs help managing their finances. To avoid guardianship and its attendant publicity and costs, trusts can be used in conjunction with a power of attorney.

Establishing a trust is not a good “do it yourself” project. If you are considering creating a trust, seek qualified legal counsel!

Check out all the W+L attorneys who do trust work here.

This entry was posted in Articles.
  • About the Author


    Mark S. Reckman

    Mark Reckman has been with Wood + Lamping since 1979 and has served as the head of the Real Estate and Probate Practice Areas as well as managing partner of the firm.

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