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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
Trusts are methods of transferring assets to other entities or individuals, often for the purpose of saving on taxes. In a trust, its creator transfers specific responsibilities to a trustee, for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. A trust is a legal document drafted by an attorney. The length of the trust, the specific power and duties incurred by the trustee, and when the trust income and principal will be distributed to the beneficiaries are all determined when the trust is initially formulated. A trust has many benefits. For example, it can provide tax savings and professional management of your investments during your lifetime. A trust protects your assets if you are unable to manage them yourself for some reason. A trust can also collect your assets for your beneficiaries upon your death. Trusts are established based on the needs and goals of their creator. For example, a living trust is established and maintained during the creator's lifetime and may be changed or even terminated during that time. An irrevocable trust can be changed once its established, but only by the person who set up the trust. A trust that is created by a will and takes effect after a person's death is called a testamentary (test-uh-MEN-tary) trust and can not be changed. For more information on trusts, contact a financial advisor.

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