When you create a trust as part of your estate plan, there are three roles to fill:
* The grantor. This is the person who funds the trust with cash or other assets. If you’re creating a trust, you’re the grantor.
* The beneficiary. This is the person who’ll receive any assets that are distributed from the trust. In some trusts, there are multiple beneficiaries. Some types of trusts have an income beneficiary, who’ll receive steady cash flow, and remainder beneficiaries, who’ll get the trust assets after a certain time or after the death of the income beneficiary.
* The trustee. This is the party responsible for investing trust assets, making distributions to the beneficiaries, and handling all the paperwork. You’ll want to name someone who’ll provide your loved ones with funds they’ll need, after your death, yet keep trust assets from being squandered. If you don’t have an individual in mind to fill this role, you might name two co-trustees to share the work or designate a financial firm as institutional trustee.