Forming a Trust

End of Life Management Toolkit #7 | by Team Passare and Robert L. Shepard

1. What's the First Step to Forming a Trust?

A trust agreement is simply your written instructions directing someone (the trustee) on how to manage your property (the corpus) for the benefit of your heirs (the beneficiaries).

The four components to a trust are the: (1) Settlor, the person who creates the trust (2) Trustee, the manager of the trust (3) Beneficiary, the entities or individuals receiving benefits from the trust (4) Corpus, the trust property/assets.

TIP: Each of these four components is necessary to create a valid trust. For example, a trust without a corpus may not be valid. Therefore, most trusts are funded with a dollar amount at the time they are created, even if the amount is only $1.00.

A trust is often an integral component of an estate plan. Determining the type of trust that is best suited for your specific estate plan should be based on considerations relating to your particular goals and objectives. We recommend that you consult an estate planning attorney in your area to help with your specific details; here we present some general background information.

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