What is a trust?
Simply put, a trust is legal document established by an individual or corporation known as a grantor. The trust holds property or assets for a specific person or group, called the beneficiary. Control of the trust is maintained by a trustee -- in some cases the grantor is the trustee, and in others the grantor names a trusted family member, friend or a corporate trustee like United Southern Bank.
There are many reasons to set up a trust, including avoiding probate, providing for your family after your death, and stating exactly how, and when, your descendants receive their inheritance.
Key reasons to consider a trust:
- Maintain control of your assets – your trust document will set forth how, when and to whom you want your assets distributed – even after your death.
- Flexible distribution – you can decide how much and when your beneficiaries receive your assets. Perhaps you want the funds distributed for college tuition each year or paid out when the beneficiary is older and more responsible.
- Incapacity planning – your trust can be set up to protect you and your assets when you are no longer able to do so.
- Special Needs planning -- you may be helping a loved one with special needs while alive and need to set up a trust to continue to provide financial assistance after your death.
- Charitable giving - you can set up a tax-efficient long-range plan to donate your assets the way that you want to through charitable trusts.
- Eliminate family feuds – a grantor can leave very specific details of who should receive what asset and how much. A corporate trustee is bound by the trust to follow your goals and instructions.
- Privacy – unlike wills, trusts do not go through probate and usually are not recorded in public records.
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