A trust is a legal arrangement that provides for the ownership, management and distribution of property. Think of a trust as a "bucket" into which you place your property. When you “fund” the trust, you place some or all of your property in the name of the trust ... like placing the items in a bucket. The text of the trust is your set of detailed instructions that include such things as: what's in your bucket; who manages and takes care of what's in your bucket; who will get to benefit from what's in your bucket; how often can the Trustee take from the bucket; what can be removed from the bucket; and why removals from the bucket are allowed.
You, the one placing the property
into the trust, are known as the Grantor of the trust. The person who oversees the property in the trust is the Trustee, and the person(s) who receives the benefit of the property held in the trust is known as the Beneficiary. When your trust is created, there is a good chance you will be Grantor, Trustee and Beneficiary. If or when you become incapacitated, you will have named a Successor Trustee who will assume overseeing the property in your trust.
An irrevocable trust
is a trust with terms and provisions that cannot be changed by the Grantor.
A revocable trust
, which is a very common estate plan, allows the Grantor to amend the terms of the trust and/or take back title of the property in the trust at any time.
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