Financial Tips: What Is A Trust?

A trust is a legal document that has an intended purpose in the distribution of money or property to others.

A trust is a general or specific plan with a purpose.All trusts whether general or specific, consist of a trustor, trustee, trust property, trust indenture and one or more beneficiaries.A trustor is the person that creates the trust and the trustee is the person that manages the trust.Both general trusts and specific trusts are plans with the intended purpose of distributing money and/or property of significant value to others.Personal trusts are very commonly used for estate and death planning.

There are many types of trusts, but all trusts fall into one of two categories, revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts.Before explaining the difference between a revocable and irrevocable trust, you should understand the difference between general trusts and specific trusts.General trusts very often consist of large or very large estate property.A general trust distributes the property to the specified recipients, but without specified conditions of how it is to be used.Specific trusts such as alimony trusts and education trusts have specified conditions set by the trustor, which means that the recipients of the trust will be told how the property distributed, is to be used.

A revocable trust is when the trustor has the power to recall the property that was originally transferred into the trust.A revocable trust has very little legal meaning and is only enforceable if the trustor were to die.An irrevocable trust is enforceable by law because it can not be altered once it has been made a legal documentary.The moment an irrevocable trust is funded, the trustor or the trustee must apply for a tax identification number because the trust must be classified outside of an individual's social security number.However, the trustor no longer owns the property transferred into the trust and he/she can not recall the trust property.


You will find that the federal government classifies trusts mainly into two types, simple or complex trusts.How the government decides to classify each type of trust is based on how the property is administered, as well as the nature of the recipients it is to be distributed to.Furthermore, both simple and complex trusts are also classified as irrevocable trusts. Many believe that trusts are tax avoided, but they are not.Most trusts are taxable entities and those that are not, are still tax accountable by the federal government.

According to the government, a simple trust is one where all the income goes into the trust for the beneficiaries until the trust terminates.Once the trust terminates, it will then go directly to the beneficiaries without much of its initial value being lost.A complex trust is one that does not qualify to be classified as a simple trust.Amongst complex trusts, there are no limitations set to the trustee, as they have complete power over the trust.For this reason, the government watches these types of trusts more closely because many people will try to play tax avoidance and/or tax dilution games to avoid paying income taxes.

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