What is a trust?
According to IRS.gov: "A trust is a relationship in which one person holds title to property, subject to an obligation to keep or use the property for the benefit of another."*
In basic terms, a trust is a financial document that is set up to explain how you want your property held while you are alive and then distributed to your beneficiaries after you are gone.
Here are the main benefits of including a trust in your estate plans:
- To reduce estate taxes liability
- To protect property in your estate
- To avoid probate
- To have control of how your money is distributed
Should you consider a trust?
Trusts can be created for many reasons. In general, trusts may be more useful for people who have assets of $500,000 or more to dedicate to the trust. While that sounds like a substantial amount of money, it can be surprising how quickly assets add up. Use the Gross Estate Worksheet to determine your estate's value.
Here are some examples of when you might consider a trust:
- Provide for a loved one with special needs
- Take care of your children financially should something happen to you
- Pass wealth to your grandchildren
- Give to your favorite charity
- Create substantial tax savings
Choosing a trust that is right for you
Selecting a trust is unique to each person's circumstances. It depends on the benefits you want and what you hope to accomplish with your trust.
There is great variety in the world of personal trusts, and some are better suited for certain situations than others. To compare the benefits of different types of trusts, visit the Trust Comparison Chart.
Choose a type of trust to learn more: