Your Online Resource For Wills And Trusts
Beneficiary:  A person designated in a Will or Trust to receive property from the maker of the Will or Trust. A designated Beneficiary is one named to receive property by the owner of a retirement account or life insurance policy.
Funding Your Trust:   The very important act of putting your assets into your trust by changing the title of one’s assets into the name of the Trustee of your trust.
Guardianship:  A court proceeding that appoints someone to manage the personal affairs of an incapacitated or incompetent person.
Heir:  A person entitled to distribution of an asset or property interest under state law when there is no valid will or trust.
Irrevocable Trust:  A trust that cannot be modified, amended or revoked once it has been established.
Intestacy:  Dying without leaving a valid Will or Trust so that the decedent’s property is distributed according to applicable state law.
Living Will: A written document expressing whether one wants to be kept alive by life sustaining procedures if they are in an irreversible terminal physical condition or vegetative state.  It may be part of a durable power of attorney for health care.
Power of Attorney: A legal instrument appointing and empowering another person agent to deal with one’s property and affairs. There are several types.  A General Power of Attorney gives broad powers.  A. Special Power of Attorney limits the power to a particular property or transaction. A Durable Power of Attorney remains effective after the principal becomes incapacitated.
Probate: The Court process that supervises the transfer of legal title to property from a decedent to his or her heirs or beneficiaries.
Revocable Trust:  A trust established during life that can amended or revoked by its creator. It can be used to assist during periods of incapacity, avoid  guardianship and conservatorship, facilitate tax planning, avoid probate, and distribute property after death.
Testamentary Trust:
  A trust created after death by one’s Last Will and Testament.  The Will must be probated and the assets distributed through the probate court.
Trust:  A form of legal ownership whereby assets are titled in the name of a “Trustee” who manages and distributes them according to the instructions in a Trust Document (sometimes called the “Declaration of Trust”), for the benefit of person(s) called “beneficiaries.”
Trust Assets: Assets that have been transferred to the Trust by putting the title of the assets into the name of the “Trustee”.  These assets may include real property, bank accounts, stocks bonds, partnership interests, tangible and are managed and distributed according to the terms of the Trust.
Trustee: One holding legal title to trust assets with the responsibility of managing and distributing those assets according to the Trust Document.
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