Trusts Cheat Sheet

This article on Trusts is provided by Everplans — The web's leading resource for planning and organizing your life. Create, store and share important documents that your loved ones might need. Find out more about Everplans »

Trust us when we say this is as basic as we can make Trusts.

Creating a Trust can get complicated, so we put together these five tips to protect your money as if it were, um, gold.

1. It’s All About [Keeping] The Benjamins

People set up Trusts to minimize estate taxes, avoid probate court, legally protect money from creditors, and seamlessly transfer money and property to heirs.

2. It Takes Three To Tango

The three players in a trust are the person who creates it (Grantor), the person or people who manage it (Trustees), and the person or people who get the money (Beneficiaries).

3. Report To The Principal

All the property and assets you put in a Trust, including money (or fish?), is called a Principal.

4. Trusts Are Either Living Or Dead

Trusts are obviously set up when you're alive, but a Living Trust kicks in immediately upon creation; a Testamentary Trust, which is usually part of a person's Will, goes into effect after you're gone. There are also Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts, but since this is a cheat sheet you'll have to click on those words to learn more.

[Ed. Note: This has nothing to do with the lovely Hawaiian waterfall pictured above, but since we packed so much info into this blurb we figured you deserved a rainbow. You could also use a puppy, right? Coming right up!]

5. Don’t Be A Hero, Ask For Help When You Need It

Even the smartest and savviest financial minds can get tripped up by Trusts, especially since they vary from state-to-state, so it’s best to consult an attorney. Anything that requires you to set up a bank account as if its a corporation requires extra care and attention to detail.  [Helpful Resource: Online Legal Services]

Deep Dive: All You Need To Know About Trusts

State-By-State Health, Legal, And End-Of-Life Resources


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