Trusts: How they're set up and controlled

Is a trust very complicated? For some people, a trust can seem daunting to set up, but the benefits outweigh a slight learning curve. While it can take some time to set up, a trust will make sure that there is less work to do if you're incapacitated or if your loved ones are trying to deal with your will and assets following your death.

How do you set up a trust?

You can speak with your attorney to discuss drafting the right kind of trust. There are several, and you'll want to find the right trust for the goals and obligations you have. You will need to fund the trust, so you'll have to determine where those funds will come from.

For instance, if you pay into the trust from your paycheck, the trust will control the portion you put into the trust while you control what is in your bank account. If you decide to maintain your trust, you'll be the trustee and in control of it until you decide to pass it on to another person or until you are incapacitated and the trust is passed to another person legally through other means. If you set your attorney or a family member as the trustee, then that person is who will control the trust instead of you.

What happens after a death?

After death, a successor to the trustee steps up to take care of the trust. This person takes over the trust and pays out any fees or taxes before dividing the assets as determined by the owner of the trust.

Source: Post-Crescent, "A trust sounds too complicated," Carissa Giebel, Sep. 03, 2016

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