A trust is a way to transfer your property and other assets to someone else, and is a smart way to protect your loved ones after you are gone. There are many benefits to creating a trust as part of your estate plan, including:
• to avoid probate taxes
• to protect your privacy and the privacy of your beneficiaries
• to protect your heirs from creditors
• to provide for charitable giving
• to protect your beneficiaries from poor decisions and predators
• to provide for someone who is ill or incapacitated
A trust is created when one person, often referred to as the grantor or trustor, transfers ownership of their assets to another person, the trustee, to hold for the benefit of one or more other people, known as the beneficiaries. But what exactly does it mean to transfer assets to a trust?
When you transfer assets to a trust you are changing the legal ownership of your assets. Your assets are no longer owned by you, they are now owned by the trust. Also known as funding a trust, when you transfer assets to a trust you are giving the trustee control of those assets.
Transferring Assets After Someone’s Death
In a testamentary trust, the terms of the trust are established in advance, but the trust itself is not actually created until the grantor dies. At that point, the assets are transferred. This type of trust is often included in a will.
Transferring Assets During a Person’s Lifetime
Many people think of trusts to manage someone’s assets after they have died. Living trusts are rapidly gaining in popularity and are frequently used to avoid probate. With this option, assets are transferred during the grantor’s lifetime. This is a revocable trust, meaning the terms of the trust can be changed while the grantor is still alive.
To transfer ownership of your assets and property to your trust, speak to your trusts and estate planning lawyer. A trusts lawyer can examine your situation and explain how a trust can help you to meet your goals for the future and work with you to create a plan to make it happen.
If you are planning your estate and have questions about setting up a trust, an experienced estate planning and trusts lawyer can advise you throughout the process. To talk to a trust attorney in Chicago or Lombard about how to make and store your will, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835.