There are several types of trusts and each one comes with different protections and liabilities for the Grantor (maker of the trust). Some trusts are used to help avoid taxes, such as the Estate Tax, while others are created simply to avoid probate. The most common form of trust used in estate planning is the Revocable Living Trust.
A Revocable Living Trust often allows the Grantor to retain complete access to property owned by the trust during the Grantor’s lifetime. It also allows the Grantor to implement creative provisions and conditions for beneficiaries upon their death. For example, trusts can hold property until beneficiaries reach a certain age or until a certain condition, such as obtaining a college degree, is met.
When a Revocable Living Trust is utilized properly it can result in the Grantor’s estate avoiding probate entirely. Thus, it may result in substantial savings for the estate. Additionally, since a Revocable Living Trust is distributed through a Trustee of the Grantor’s choice, there is rarely a need for court involvement, which generally results in less stress for the family.