Learn about living & revocable trusts

Ever since GYST was featured in Tony Robbin's book, Money, we get a lot of questions about trusts.

Trusts 101

What it is difference between a will and living will? Essentially, one is about your stuff (will) and the other about your body (living will).

Read GYST's Estate Planning 101, or follow our Checklist for step-by-step instructions for more on that.

"But unlike a will, a living trust can also protect you and your family while you are alive."  - Tony Robbins, Money

Create your Living Trust affordably, today with Rocket Lawyer.

What is the difference between a will and a trust? What the heck is a trust, anyway? Let's break that down for a minute.

Wikipedia defines trusts as: A trust is a relationship whereby property is held by one party for the benefit of another. A trust is created by a settlor, who transfers property to a trustee. The trustee holds that property for the trust's beneficiaries. Trusts exist mainly in common law jurisdictions and similar systems existed since Roman times.

Trust options

Living or Testamentary (when they go into effect)

  • Living Trust: is immediately effective
  • Testamentary: is effective once you die

Revocable or Irrevocable (whether you change it later)

  • Revocable: you can change it after it is set up (as in 'revoke it')
  • Irrevocable: you give away rights and ownership and can't change it

Top 3 Questions about Living Trusts

Do I need a trust?

As with so many things, it really depends on your individual situation, goals, and potentially which state you live in. It seems like even the American Bar Association describes Trusts as less black and white:

"Much has been written regarding the use of "living trusts" (also known as a "revocable trust," "inter vivos trust," or “loving trust”) as a solution for a wide variety of problems associated with estate planning that wills cannot address. Some attorneys regularly recommend the use of such trusts, while others believe that their value has been somewhat overstated. The choice of a living trust should be made after consideration of a number of factors." - americanbar.org

Where do I get a trust?

Good news! You have options, here are a few places to start or do some research:

"But unlike a will, a living trust can also protect you and your family while you are alive."  - Tony Robbins, Money

Should I talk to a lawyer to help me create a trust?

Maybe. If you have a large estate, or any complications (international citizenship? child with special needs?) - you might need to. But certainly, if you have any questions or concerns, make sure you are covered and get professional advice.

Read more about how to get your legal questions answered affordably or free.

Check out GYST's Attorney Directory to find a lawyer in your state.

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