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What Is A Trust?
A trust is a three party fiduciary relationship in which the first party, the trustor or settlor, transfers or settles property (often but not necessarily a sum of money) upon the second party known as the trustee for the benefit of the third party known as the beneficiary.
A trust may be either revocable or irrevocable. In the United States a trust is presumed to be irrevocable unless the instrument or will creating the trust states it is revocable, except in California, Oklahoma and Texas, in which trusts are presumed to be revocable until the instrument or will creating them states they are irrevocable. An irrevocable trust can be “broken” (revoked) only by a judicial proceeding.
The trustee is the legal owner of the property in trust, as fiduciary for the beneficiary or beneficiaries who is/are the equitable owner(s) of the trust property. Trustees thus have a fiduciary duty to manage the trust to the benefit of the equitable owners. They must provide a regular accounting of trust income and expenditures. Trustees may be compensated and be reimbursed their expenses. A court of competent jurisdiction can remove a trustee who breaches his/her fiduciary duty. Some breaches of fiduciary duty can be charged and tried as criminal offences in a court of law.
Property of any sort may be held in a trust and are for both personal and commercial applications. Trusts may provide benefits in estate planning, asset protection, and taxes. Living trusts may be created during a person’s life via a trust instrument or after death in a will.
Appointer – The appointer is the person who can appoint a new trustee or remove an existing one.
Appointment – The act of appointing, giving an asset from the trust to a beneficiary; or the name of the document which gives effect to the appointment. The trustee’s right to do this, where it exists, is called a power of appointment. Sometimes, a power of appointment is given to someone other than the trustee, such as the settlor, the protector, or a beneficiary.
Beneficiary – A beneficiary is anyone who receives benefits from any assets the trust owns.
Protector – A protector may be appointed in an express, inter vivos trust, as a person who has some control over the trustee usually including a power to dismiss the trustee and appoint another.
Settlor – This is the person or persons who creates the trust. They may also be known as a Grantor.
Trust Deed – A trust deed is a legal document that defines the trust such as the trustee, beneficiaries, settlor and appointer, and the terms and conditions of the agreement.
Trust Distributions – A trust distribution is any income or asset that is given out to the beneficiaries of the trust.
Trustee – A person, corporation who administers a trust. A trustee is considered a fiduciary and owes the highest duty under the law to protect trust assets from unreasonable loss for the trust’s beneficiaries.
– Information found at wikepedia.com