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A living trust is a legal document that holds a person's assets, with the intention of privately transferring those assets to the person's beneficiaries after death. The person who sets up the trust is called a living trust settlor (or grantor or trustor). A living trust settlor is responsible for organizing his or her assets to put into the trust and then fund the trust. The living trust settlor also creates the terms and conditions of the trust, also called the trust agreement.
The living trust settlor can either be their own trustee or can name another as the trustee. The trustee then is the one who manages the assets in the trust and administers the terms and conditions of the trust. Regardless of whether the settlor is also the trustee or not, the living trust settlor still owns the rights to the assets in the trust and may change the trust at any time while still living.
A living trust has different benefits than a Will does, however it will act as a Will for the living trust settlor when he or she dies. There are certain assets a living trust settlor should not put into a trust and there are also illegitimate reasons for creating a trust. A living trust settlor must ensure the trust is legal and complies with all current state and federal trust and tax laws.
A living trust settlor typically executes a trust with the help of an estate planning attorney. These attorneys are well versed in living trusts and will ensure you, as a living trust settlor, understand the full scope of how a trust works. An estate planning attorney can help you organize your assets, decide what to put in the trust, name your beneficiaries and write the terms and conditions of the trust agreement. It is an attorney's job to ensure a trust matches the living trust settlor's needs.
Attorney Search Network can help you find estate planning lawyers in your area. Contact Attorney Search Network for an estate planning lawyer referral today if you have questions about a living trust settler.
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