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Fundamentals of a trust

A trust is one of the many estate planning tools New York residents can use to ensure that their assets are handled according to their wishes. While not every type of trust is appropriate for every person, the revocable living trust is a common one and may be used for many financial situations.

Every trust is created with a set of instructions. These provide details such as who manages the trust, who are the beneficiaries of the trust assets and how and when the assets should be distributed to the beneficiaries.

Trusts are customizable and can be created to accommodate the specific needs of a family. For example, some parents may opt to allow their children to have access to the assets in the trust when they reach a certain age. Other parents may prefer to provide a different provision for each of their children. Trusts can also be used by parents as a form of asset protection after they die so that the assets intended for the children cannot be seized by creditors or former spouses or can be misused by the beneficiaries themselves.

People should be aware that the provisions of the trust apply only to the assets in the trust. A trust that is not funded will not work as it is supposed to. Funding a trust may entail changing the title of the property being transferred into it. Those who want to know what type of estate planning documents might be appropriate for their particular financial and family situation may want to meet with an attorney who has experience with these matters.

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