The Basics of a Trust Document
You can think of a trust as an invisible bucket. It is your job to place your assets into your bucket by titling the assets in the name of the trust. The trust document is the instruction book for how to use and distribute the assets in the trust bucket.
Some basic facts about a Trust document:1. The trust document controls assets that you title into your trust bucket during your lifetime.
2. You can change the trust document as long as you are competent to do so.
3. You usually appoint yourself as trustee so you are in charge of your own assets.
4. The trust controls who receives your assets after death.
5. You can control your assets *from the grave* by directing the trustee to keep the assets in the trust and slowly distributing them to your beneficiaries.
6. The trust only avoids the probate court process if you title your assets into the trust or name the trust as beneficiary.
7. A trust does not shelter your assets from creditors or from being used for your long term care needs.
Trusts are generally recommended for the following:1. people who have minor children, disabled beneficiaries, or those who cannot handle money;
2. second marriage situations;
3. people with multiple beneficiaries;
4. people with assets greater than the federal inheritance tax amount; and
5. some married couples who are concerned about long-term care and have estates less than $200,000.