What is a Family Trust
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What Is a Family Trust?

A family trust is any trust means that you’ve established to benefit your family members.

This type of trust is a favorable means in estate planning. You know the members of your family the best, and a family trust can assist you in custom-making how you take care of your family, both throughout your lifetime and following your passing away.

Discover what types of trusts there are, how to establish them, and which one is appropriate for your family.

Family trust clarified

If you’ve been contemplating establishing a family trust, it’s crucial to know that the idea of a family trust that’s most generally used throughout the estate planning process does not refer to a particular, legally defined kind of trust.

When people discuss family trusts, most likely they are referring to the most general meaning behind the term. In a lot of estate planning situations, a family trust is merely a trust that benefits the family members of the person that is establishing the trust.

In trust terminology, this individual is referred to as the grantor or settlor of the trust, while the family members that benefit from it are referred to as the beneficiaries. Another term that is vital, and that is the trustee. This is the individual you choose to manage and oversee the trust.

Since a family trust can be any type of trust means in which the beneficiaries are members of your family, the kind of trust you establish when devising your family trust is going to depend on your specific needs.

Revocable trust what is it?

Using a revocable trust, you reserve your right to alter the trust’s conditions at any time. This right comprises of not only altering the conditions but also rescinding the trust entirely. The revocable trust has a lot of advantages, comprising of the below:

  • Since the trust can be altered or rescinded at any time, you keep control over the assets you have placed in the trust.
  • At your passing, the assets you have placed in the trust are not required to go through the probate process, and their allocation can happen immediately instantly to the conditions of the trust.
  • Probate is a public process, and assets that go through the process turn into a matter of public record; having a revocable trust, given that the assets held by the trust are not part of the process, its more private.

One instance of a revocable trust that’s generally used in estate planning is a living trust, in which is a trust established and carried out throughout your lifetime. Given that it’s a revocable trust that leaves maximum control over the assets you have placed at your fingertips, the living trust is one of the most favorable trust means to be establish as a family trust.

Individuals typically appoint themselves as trustee of their living trusts. Should you be the trustee of your living trust, another benefit is the ability to name a successor trustee that can take over supervision of the trust should you become debilitated and are no longer able to oversee the trust’s assets.

What is an irrevocable trust?

After an irrevocable trust has been established, it becomes permanent. You can’t alter the conditions, and you also can’t “revoke” the trust. Particular kinds of irrevocable trusts have particular advantages, so it’s definitely worth consulting with a tax professional when you plan on utilizing an irrevocable trust in your estate plan. The advantages that might be available when establishing your irrevocable trust comprise of the below:

  • There are a lot of irrevocable trusts available that can aid your estate in decreasing or avoiding estate taxes. These trusts can be somewhat complex, so professional help is always suggested when selecting this kind of irrevocable trust.
  • Should one of your beneficiaries be disabled and you’re concerned that adding to their income or assets is going to make them ineligible for government programs such as Medicaid, you can establish an irrevocable trust to assist in providing for them without considerably affecting their ability to acquire such aid.
  • An irrevocable trust offers more creditor safeguarding than a revocable trust does, so if this is significant to you or your beneficiaries, creating your trust as an irrevocable one might be your best option.

One typical instance of an irrevocable trust is a testamentary trust, the conditions of which are summarized in your will. This type of trust is not devised until your passing. At that time, the trust comes into play following the conditions you’ve established in your will, and once set up, these conditions cannot be changed.

Establishing a family trust

Whereas the kind of trust you choose is going to influence the particular terms and conditions of the trust, the below are the elementary steps you are going to typically need to go through to establish your family trust:

  • Create your trust document
  • Select a trustee to administer and oversee the trust
  • Place assets into the trust

Subject to your selection of trust, you might want to speak with an estate planning attorney when establishing your trust. As well as reliant on their knowledge of the different terms and conditions which can be carried out in your trust, they can offer priceless assistance in helping you to place assets into the trust correctly.

The family trust is merely any trust means that is established to benefit members of your family. For this reason, the characteristics of the family trust you create in your estate plan is going to be subjected primarily on the kind of trust means you decide on.


  1. What is a family trust? LegalZoom. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2023, from https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/what-is-a-family-trust

Attorney Arizona

There’s nothing better than the peace of mind you will have knowing you’ve protected your family at a time when they need it most. Let us help. Schedule a consultation or contact Ogborne Law, PLC of Arizona today.

You’ve worked hard for your life, and you need to protect it. You owe it to your family and your legacy to take care of planning now. Contact Ogborne Law to schedule your estate-planning session.

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