For most people a Last Will and Testament serves as the foundation for their estate plan; however, a number of additional estate planning tools and strategies are also used to help complete a comprehensive estate plan. Among the most popular of these additional tools is a trust. Like most people, you likely have a general idea what a trust is and how it operates; however, you may also have a number of trust related questions. To help you better understands trusts and how one might fit into your overall estate plan, the estate planning attorneys at The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. have put together the following frequently asked trust related questions and corresponding answers. If you have specific questions, or would like additional information, please contact our office for a consultation.
What is a trust?
What is the difference between a testamentary and a living trust?
What does it mean if a trust is irrevocable?
What are the duties and responsibilities of a Trustee?
- Understanding and following the trust terms
- Communicating with beneficiaries
- Managing trust assets
- Investing trust assets using the “prudent investor standard”
- Keeping detailed records of trust business
- Distributing assets pursuant to the trust terms
- Preparing and filing trust taxes
What are some common estate planning reasons to create a trust?
How and when does a trust terminate?
- Provision in the trust setting a date for termination
- The trust purpose has been fulfilled
- Trust assets are depleted
- Subject matter of the trust becomes illegal or unconscionable
- The Trustee violates his/her duties to the trust
- A trust contest determines that the Settlor created the trust as the result of mistake, fraud, duress, or undue influence
- Agreement of the beneficiaries
- Court order