Let me go on.
If you create a trust during your lifetime, you are described as the trust’s grantor or settlor, the trust is called a living trust or inter vivos trust, and the trust provisions are contained in the trust agreement. The provisions of that trust document (rather than your will or state law defaults) will usually determine what happens to the property in the trust upon your death.
A living trust may be revocable (subject to change and terminated by the settlor) or irrevocable. Either type of trust may be designed to accomplish the purposes of property management, assistance to the settlor in the event of physical or mental incapacity, and disposition of property after the death of the settlor of the trust.
Trusts are an important part of a persons estate plan and not only for the wealthy. Many young parents with limited assets choose to create trusts either during life or in their wills for the benefit of their children in case both parents die before all their children have reached an age deemed by them to indicate sufficient maturity to handle property. This permits the trust estate to be held as a single undivided fund to be used for the support and education of minor children according to their respective needs, with eventual division of the trust among the children when the youngest has reached a specified age.
This type of arrangement has an obvious advantage over an inflexible division of property among children of different ages without regard to their level of maturity or individual needs at the time of such distribution.
Again, all of this is a mouthful, and although these descriptions are correct assessments of the facts, it is very easy to get confused. My practice is one where I work in cooperation with my clients, I talk with them, not at them and this is critical. You may think this is always the case, but sadly this is not so in a majority of law offices who deal with these issues. I take great care in developing relationships built on trust and communication because I believe that is what is needed when walking people through complex and difficult issues.