A trust in East Lansing, Michigan is a legal arrangement for the management of property by one individual, for the benefit of another. In the simplest possible terms, if property is held in trust, it is possessed and controlled by one person, but it is technically owned by another individual, who benefits from the property.

There are various reasons why a person might set up a trust. A well-managed trust, started with a substantial amount of money, can mature into a sizable college fund for a child. Furthermore, if the trust is well-drafted, the beneficiary can be restricted in how they use the money, so they don't waste it.

Regardless of the purpose for which you're creating a trust, you can be sure that the beneficiary will only be able to spend the trust fund in ways you approve of. This is because a trust document, at the time of drafting, can place any restrictions or allowances you want on the beneficiary's use of the money. So, if you want them to only be able to spend it on education, for instance, you can do that.

If you want, you could formulate a trust with no restrictions on how much money the trustee can spend from the trust, and let the beneficiary spend all the money on whatever they'd like. If this is what you want to do, that's fine- but if the beneficiary is a young adult with spendthrift habits, you obviously might want to take into consideration the fact that they could quickly spend all the money on some pretty frivolous stuff.

What to Include in Any East Lansing, MI Trust

There are 4 things that have to be present in every trust for it to be legitimate in East Lansing, Michigan. First, the trust must have a stated purpose. Whatever purpose you intend the trust to serve, you should make it very clear when drafting the document.

Second, there must be a trustee. This is the individual who will administer the trust, and retain possession of the property or money that it contains, as well as being accountable for utilizing it to effectuate the trust's purpose.

The third required element to make a valid trust is the beneficiary or beneficiaries. Because a trust, by definition, is set up to benefit someone or something, that entity must be identified in the trust. Nonetheless, if the person(s) meant to benefit from the trust do not yet exist, they can still be legitimate beneficiaries, as long as they are part of an identifiable class of people, and can be easily identified if they are born. For instance, you could set up a trust to benefit your grandchildren, even if you don't actually have any grandchildren yet.

Fourth and finally, the trust must contain what is known as the "corpus" or "body." The corpus is the money and/or property which is being held in trust. For a trust to be legitimate, the corpus must be precisely identified.

Can A East Lansing, Michigan Trust Drafting Attorney Help?

While the elements of a valid trust are fairly simple and easy to memorize, drafting a trust that is likely to be carried out according to your wishes can be fairly perplexing. For that reason, a East Lansing, Michigan attorney experienced in estate planning can be invaluable.