Trust Planning

Trust Planning

Estate Planning and Wealth Management

Trusts and Estates Definitions

Beneficiary
the person(s) or entities(s) intended to benefit from the trust. Beneficiaries hold equitable title to the property in the trust

Breach of Fiduciary Duty
occurs when a trustee fails to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries

Corporate Trustee
(see also professional trustee) a big business, usually a bank, serving as the trustee

Corpus
the property found within a trust

Decedent
the person who has died

Declaration of Trust
the written instrument used to create the trust where the Grantor also acts as the trustee

Estate
the total property and rights of the property that belong to a person, with the capability of being transferred to someone else

Fiduciary(adj. and noun)
noun: an institution or individual who exercises legal authority to make decisions in the best interest of the client

Fiduciary Duty
a legal duty that ensures the fiduciary is acting in the best interests of the individual/client

Grantor
the person or entity that creates the trust, also known as the Trustor, Settlor, Creator, or Donor

Life interest
a person who has an interest in the trust property during that person’s lifetime, but does not have the right to give the property to anyone after that person’s death

Lifetime beneficiary, or Life beneficiary
person who receives benefits from a trust for a lifetime

Principal
also known as the “corpus,” the property in the trust

Probate
the process through which a will is determined to be either valid or invalid, and the decedent’s estate is administered

Remainder Beneficiaries
the person or entity that is entitled to receive the property in the trust after a life interest in the trust property has ended. Also called "remaindermen."

Rule Against Perpetuities
this is a common law rule that prevents the Grantor from controlling the trust property long after the Grantor’s death, typically the life of a beneficiary plus 21 years.

Trust
a legal entity that can hold property for the benefit of another person or entity

Trust Agreement
the written instrument used to create a trust where the Grantor does not act as the trustee

Trustee
the person(s) or entities(s) that manages and controls the trust

Unified Credit
a tax credit that can either be used to offset federal gift taxes accrued during a person’s life, or to offset federal estate taxes upon a person’s death

Will
a document through which a person describes how the person wishes his or her estate to be managed and distributed after his or her death