Trusts are a common estate planning tool. With a trust, the trust creator (the grantor) gives property to a trustee to hold, manage, and spend for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries. Trusts can either be revocable or irrevocable. With a revocable trust the grantor retains the right to change the terms of the trust, or revoke it entirely. With an irrevocable trust, the grantor gives up that right.
A trust can also be either a testamentary trust or an inter vivos trust. A testamentary trust is created in a will and only comes into existence when the will is probated. An inter vivos or living trust comes into existence right away, during the lifetime of the grantor.
There are several different types of trusts, each with a specific purpose. The most common trusts are used to manage money for the benefit of the grantor’s children until they become responsible adults. Special Needs Trusts or Supplemental Needs Trusts can be used to provide support for beneficiaries with special needs. Other trusts can be used to reduce estate tax consequences, protect assets from creditors, or to maintain the family cabin. At Lewis Kannegieter Law, Ltd. we can help you determine whether a trust is appropriate to fulfill your estate planning goals.