Within the past 10 years, the Living Trust has replaced the Will as the best way to care for you and your loved ones because it can avoid the fees, cost, and stress of court intervention in the event of mental incapacity or death. Properly funded, a living trust can help you keep legal control in your family or with persons you trust and avoid having a judge – an unknown third person – make decisions about your personal affairs.
A living trust is simply detailed, legally binding instructions to care for you and your family. There are three key players in a trust. First, the Trustmaker or grantor; this is the person who makes the trust. Second, the Trustee, whose job is to follow the instructions of the trust exactly and to the spirit of the trust. The third role are the Beneficiaries. The Trustee’s fiduciary duties run like a laser beam to the beneficiaries: every penny of the Trust must be used in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
Initially, you can act in all three roles in your living trust: You can be the trustmaker, trustee and beneficiary. Your spouse, children, or other loved ones can also be beneficiaries.