The parties involved in the creation and administration of a living trust are 

  • Grantor(s) – Person(s) creating the trust – you (and your spouse). Grantor can also be called Creator, Settlor, or Trustor.

  • Trustee(s) – Person(s), who manage the trust now. Usually would be the grantors, you and your souse, and/or a corporate trustee.
  • Successor Trustee(s) – Individual or corporate trustee, who will step up and manage the trust for as long as necessary if you (and your spouse) become incapacitated and after you pass away. At your death(s) the successor trustee will distribute your property according to your instructions. Successor trustees can be your adult children, trusted friends or relatives, licensed fiduciaries and/or corporate trustees.
  • Beneficiaries – Persons and/or organizations who will receive the trust property after you (and your spouse) pass away.
  • Income Beneficiary – Any beneficiary who is then entitled to receive distributions of the trust’s net income, whether mandatory or discretionary.
  • Descendants – Persons who directly descend from you (and your spouse), such as children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren. The term descendants does not include collateral descendants, such as nieces and nephews.
  • Permissible Distributee means a beneficiary who is currently eligible to receive distributions of trust income or principal, whether the distribution is mandatory or discretionary.
  • Primary Beneficiary of a trust is generally that trust’s oldest Income Beneficiary, unless some other individual is specifically designated as the Primary Beneficiary of that separate trust.
  • Legal Representative or Personal Representative means a person’s guardian, conservator, executor, administrator, Trustee, attorney in fact under a Durable Power of Attorney, or any other person or entity representing a person or the person’s estate. In the case of a minor beneficiary, the beneficiary’s parent or another adult with custody of the beneficiary, except for any transferor to a trust created under this instrument, will be considered the beneficiary’s Legal Representative for purposes of the trust.

Coming up next: How does a living trust work?

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