A trust is a relationship whereby property is held by one party for the benefit of another. A trust is created by a settlor, who transfers some or all of his or her property to a trustee. The trustee holds that property for the trust’s beneficiaries. An owner placing property into trust turns over part of his or her rights to the trustee, separating the property’s legal ownership and control from its equitable ownership and benefits. This may be done for tax reasons or to control the property and its benefits if the settlor is absent, incapacitated, or dead.
The trust is governed by the terms under which it was created. In most jurisdictions, this requires a contractual trust agreement or deed. Trusts are frequently created in wills, defining how money and property will be handled for children or other beneficiaries. The trustee is given legal title to the trust property, but is obligated to act for the good of the beneficiaries. The trustee may be compensated and have expenses reimbursed, but otherwise must turn over all profits from the trust properties. The trustee may be either an individual, a company, or a public body. There may be a single trustee or multiple co-trustees. There are many different trust types, including probate trusts, income trusts, spendthrift trusts, and educational trusts. For example, a living trust allows you to manage your property while you are alive and to direct who will manage it if you become incapable of doing so.
The attorneys at Young & Perez will review the many reasons for establishing a trust with you, and can ensure your trust will be legally valid.