A trust is a tool used to hold, manage, and distribute property on behalf of a beneficiary, according to terms and rules set out in the trust. There are generally three roles in a trust:

  • the grantor, who establishes the trust and transfers property into it;
  • the trustee, who oversees the affairs of the trust;
  • and the beneficiary, for whose benefit the trust exists.

There are many different kinds of trusts, and many reasons that people establish trusts in conjunction with their estate planning, such as:

  • To help people avoid probate, and enable their assets to be managed by others if they become incapacitated
  • To help people minimize estate taxes
  • To protect funds for a younger beneficiary, or a beneficiary with a disability
  • To set aside funds for a particular purpose