An estate planning trust is an important item to securing the financial future of your loved ones. It allows you to assign a trust and transfer your assets to the trust. As the trustee, you will remain in full control of all of your assets and property. Also, you can assign your spouse as a trustee so that they too have control of your property.

Get started Start Your Living Trust Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Creating a Living Trust is the most common option and you can create your trust using our Living Trust template. Trusts are complicated so we’re here to guide you through this important process.

What Is the Difference Between a Trust and a Will?

As opposed to a will, a trust remains private and goes into effect while you are living. Any trustees will be in charge of the division of your assets, which also helps to avoid probate—something that often happens with a will. However, guardianship of children can’t be provided within the scope of estate planning trusts and must be done, instead, within a will.

Will You Lose Your Property?

A trust is meant to pass property to an heir before your death. The property you own will be put into the trust, but you will retain full usage of the property while you are alive.

Property and Non-Adults

In the event of your death, property meant to be given to anyone under the age of 18 will not be legal. Instead, the trustee will be responsible for managing the property until the recipient of the trust reaches the legal age.

A separate trust, called a “testamentary trust,” may be set up if a minor is to receive the property. This is a trust that will only go into effect upon your death and will be managed by a trustee. Once the requirements are met, the trust will expire and the property will be handed over to the minor. The requirements can be anything from an age limit to graduating college.

What Happens If You Become Incapacitated?

In the event that you become incapacitated and cannot manage the affairs of the trust, you can allow other trustees to do so. This is something that a will can’t provide. Specific provisions can be made, such as the requirement of a physician stating incapacitation, before another trustee can manage the affairs.

If no trustees are present, a provision can also be made to name another person as a trustee in your place.

Is Their Trust Income Tax?

Trusts are not taxed as long as you are the trustee of your own trust. For example, if you have become the trustee of your mother’s trust due to her incapacitation, you will need to file an annual income tax return for the trust itself.

What Happens to Property Not in the Trust?

Estate planning trusts will only include property that has been transferred to the trust. In the event of your death or incapacitation, if you have property yet to be transferred into the trust, the trustee will not have control over this property. A Power of Attorney document should be created if you own property that will not be put into a trust.

Get started Start Your Living Trust Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get started Start Your Living Trust Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.