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Trust Administration Attorney
Serving Oakland County, Michigan

A trust is a form of property ownership whereby an individual called the Trustor (also known as Settlor) transfers ownership of the property to a trustee who manages and invests the trust assets and makes disbursements to beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust instrument. The duties of the trustee include collecting assets, paying taxes and debts of the trust, and making distribution to the beneficiaries. Trusts are identified according to the time of their formation.

Trusts formed during a lifetime are known as living or inter-vivos trusts. Trusts formed at death are generally known as testamentary trusts. Living trusts are usually revocable and amendable during a lifetime but become irrevocable and non-voluntarily changeable at death. Living trusts may be modified or amended after death but only with considerable expense and legal proceedings.

A living trust allows for the management of your assets during your life and provides that the trust assets will be distributed directly to your chosen beneficiaries at your death, avoiding the time, expense, and publicity of probate.

Types of Trusts

  • Revocable Living Trusts – used to avoid probate

  • IRA Trusts – used to ensure that IRA benefits are both stretched and protected.

  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs) – used to avoid estate taxes.

  • Charitable Trusts – used for tax as well as charitable benefits.

  • Asset Protection Trusts – to protect assets from creditors, divorcing spouses, etc.

  • Special Needs Trusts – used to preserve or establish eligibility for certain governmental benefits.