What exactly is "a trust"? What makes it a legal estate instrument?
A Living Trust is a revocable trust established by a grantor during his or her lifetime in which the grantor transfers some or all of his or her property into the trust.
Trusts are relationships in which a person or entity (the Trustee) has legal control over certain property (the trust property or trust corpus), but is bound by fiduciary duty to exercise that legal control for the benefit of someone else (the beneficiary), according to the terms of the Trust and the law. In a Trust the legal ownership that the trustee has is split from the equitable or beneficial title that the beneficiary has. The Trustee holds only the bare legal title to the property. If the legal and beneficial ownership merges the Trust is considered nonexistent. This can happen when the trustee becomes the sole beneficiary.
A living trust can provide you with more privacy than a will because in most states, you don't have to register it with the courts in probate. Another advantage of a living trust is that it allows you to hand over management of your assets to someone else if you become incapacitated. A Trust is typically set up by an estate attorney, although there are Trust Software products on the market now that can be used to create your own trust.
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