FEDweek

Choosing Among Types of Trusts

A trust can be revocable or irrevocable.

* A revocable trust must be created during your lifetime. If you change your mind, you can revoke the trust and reclaim the assets as your own. A revocable trust can offer incapacity protection and probate avoidance but not tax reduction.

* An irrevocable trust can be created while you’re alive or at your death. A revocable trust may become irrevocable at your death.

Assets transferred to an irrevocable trust during your lifetime may be beyond the reach of creditors and divorce settlements. The same is true of assets going into an irrevocable trust at your death.

Your heirs can be the beneficiaries of an irrevocable trust while a trustee or co-trustees you have named will be responsible for distributing funds to those trust beneficiaries. The trustee will be responsible for protecting trust assets from foolish spending and con artists.

The costs of setting up a trust might range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on where you live and the type of trust you want.