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What kind of trust should I utilize?

Many people are intimidated by the prospect of using trusts, a somewhat-ironic fact since the very name should endear people to them. A trust is an estate planning tool that allows someone to give up their asset to another person (the trustee) who then holds on to and maintains the asset under the guise of the trust until the ultimate beneficiary or heir can assume control and ownership of it.

Trusts are complicated and require planning, proper execution and administration. But when appropriately utilized, they can bolster anyone's estate plan. But there isn't just one type of trust. There are many different types, and today we're going to talk about some of them. 

One of the most common is the revocable trust. These are often called living trusts, as they are created while the trustor is still alive. These types of trusts can be altered, changed and revoked. These trusts are very helpful if you are looking to shield assets from probate.

Irrevocable trusts can also help you protect part of your estate from probate, but they are more stringent in nature. The trust can't be revoked once it is created.

Charitable trusts are great if you are looking to help a charity, and asset protection trusts can shield your property and assets from claims by creditors.

As with any step during the estate planning process, it behooves the individual creating the estate to talk with an experienced attorney beforehand to make sure everything is compliant and proper.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Trusts," Accessed June 20, 2016

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