Legal Services, LLC
What is a Trust?
A Trust is an agreement which provides for a person or entity
(the “Trustee”) to hold and manage property for the
benefit of another person (the “Beneficiary”). The trustee
manages and distributes trust assets according to the terms and
conditions set forth in the trust document. The person (or persons)
creating the trust is called the “Grantor”. The Grantor
appoints the “Trustee” and designates the “beneficiaries”
of the trust. Often, the Grantor is also the Initial Trustee and
a beneficiary of the trust during his or her lifetime. There are
two types of trusts; a “living trust” and a “testamentary
trust”. A living trust is created during one’s lifetime,
whereas, a testamentary trust is created by a will when a person
A living trust can be “revocable” or “irrevocable”.
A revocable trust can be changed, modified, amended and terminated
at any time while the Grantor is living. An irrevocable trust cannot
be changed once it is established.
Trusts: The Grantor maintains complete control over the trust
assets during his or her lifetime. Assets can be transferred into
and out of the revocable trust during one’s lifetime and any
income generated or received by the trust flows-through to the Grantor
directly and any taxes due are paid under the Grantor’s social
security number. A revocable trust is a very flexible and useful
tool when planning for the care of loved ones and efficient disbursement
of one’s estate upon passing.
Trusts: Once an irrevocable trust is created, the Grantor has
very little control over changing its terms and conditions. Unlike
a revocable trust, assets transferred to an irrevocable trust are
bound by the terms of the trust agreement. The Grantor is unable
to change the trust terms and conditions. Irrevocable trusts are
primarily used to avoid estate taxation and for asset protection
purposes. Additionally, once an irrevocable trust is funded (holds
assets) a separate tax identification number with the IRS must be
If you have a living revocable trust, it is essential to fund the
trust with assets while you are living. That way, upon your passing
the trust holds all of your assets thereby decreasing or eliminating
the assets that must be gathered through the probate court process
and then transferred to the trust. Living trusts are private and
do not require a probate court to administer the trust. It comes
down to organizing and arranging your affairs in such a way that
allows your loved ones the time and space to grieve by reducing
the stress of having to gather all of your assets when you pass.
A testamentary trust is created by your will and it comes into
existence only when you pass away. Testamentary trusts are irrevocable
and are subject to the continuing jurisdiction of the Probate Court.
Because the Probate Court has continuing jurisdiction, the trust’s
terms and conditions and administration are open to the public.
Furthermore, the trust is subject to various filing requirements
with the probate court. As a result, testamentary trusts are usually
more expensive to administer than living trusts and are subject
to a variety of Probate Court filing requirements. However, a testamentary
trust is a benefit when you are unable to nominate a suitable individual
to serve as your successor trustee upon your passing.
Benefits to Using a Revocable Living Trust:
The benefits of a trust includes the ease of administering assets
at death; the avoidance of probate costs; avoidance of delays and
loss of privacy; flexibility to modify trust terms and conditions
during your lifetime; and the ability to distribute assets to beneficiaries
according to your wishes.
A trust is an excellent way to leave assets to loved ones (e.g.
minor children, disabled beneficiary, substance abuse beneficiary)
while also maintaining control over how the trust assets are distributed.
Also, trusts are invaluable for those who want to provide for a
second spouse while also preserving assets for children from a prior
marriage. Because a trust can be tailored to address a variety of
life circumstances, contingency planning for changing family relationships
is available. The terms of a revocable trust can be amended when
needed during your lifetime.
Should you have any questions regarding whether a trust is right
for you, please do not hesitate to contact Winkler Legal Services,
LLC to learn the many ways a trust can best serve your particular
estate planning needs.
You do not hire a law firm; you hire
me, an experienced Columbus, Ohio Probate and Estate Planning & Divorce
and Family Law lawyer you can count on to be there when you
An experienced Columbus, Ohio Probate and Estate Planning & Divorce
and Family Law, Lawyer
Meet with your
lawyer when and where you can.
If you would like to speak with me regarding probate administration,
estate planning, trusts, wills, power of attorney, living will,
divorce, dissolution, child custody, child support, establishing
parental rights, legal separation, spousal support, grandparent
/ companionship rights, stepparent adoptions and annulment of marriages, please e-mail or
call (614) 461-5708 for a FREE initial telephone consultation.
Ohio, Probate and Estate Planning & Family Law Lawyer
Dirken D. Winkler
- serving clients in Central Ohio, including Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin,
Licking, Madison, Pickaway, and Union counties and the cities of Bexley,
Canal Winchester, Columbus, Dublin, Gahanna, Grandview Heights, Grove
City, Groveport, Hilliard, New Albany, Pickerington, Reynoldsburg, Upper
Arlington, Westerville, Whitehall, and Worthington. Give me a call at
(614) 461-5708. I look forward to representing you.
Columbus, Ohio, Family Law Attorney Winkler Legal Services, LLC
/ Page updated
Tuesday, July 4, 2017