Who Are the Various People or Parties Involved in a Revocable Living Trust?

by | Mar 7, 2022 | Estate Planning

A Revocable Living Trust document, such as those drafted at our law firm Leigh Cowden PLLC, creates a legal entity that will hold title to your assets (property, car, bank accounts, stocks and other securities, etc.) “in trust for” or “for the benefit of” you and anyone else you designate. Those assets can be used and managed as you determine while you are alive, and will be distributed to beneficiaries as you designate upon your death. This entity will have its own tax identification number and it will file its own tax return. 

The Trustor

“Trustor” (or “grantor” or “settlor”): The person(s) who creates the trust and puts assets into its name. There can be an unlimited number of Trustors in a Revocable Living Trust, but usually it’s two spouses or business partners or any number of persons holding assets together. Most RLTs are created for the benefit of the Trustor(s) to have the use of the assets during his or her lifetime.

The Trustee

“Trustees” or “Co-Trustees”: A Trustor can designate themselves, a bank, a law firm, a trust management company, or other individual(s) to manage the assets of the trust as a Trustee. Trustees must be people who can be trusted to follow the Trustors’ wishes as expressed in the RLT, who can be trusted to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries, and who have the ability and knowledge to manage the Trust’s assets. A Trustor has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries to act in their best interests.

The Successor Trustee

“Successor Trustees”: Trustees who take over after an original Trustee is deceased or is no longer able or willing to act as Trustee.

The Beneficiary

“Beneficiaries”: The person(s) or entity(ies) who is/are to benefit from the assets held in the RLT, who will take over the ownership of the assets after the Trustor group is deceased. Beneficiaries can be people or other entities like charitable organizations.

At Leigh Cowden, PLLC law firm, we take the time to explain all the details and ensure your estate planning is handled in a professional, courteous, and prompt manner. If you’d like to learn more about whether a Revocable Living Trust is right for you, please complete our INTAKE FORM and we will get with you within 24 hours, Monday-Friday.