In Seattle, Washington, a trust is a particular method of managing property for the benefit of another person. A trustee is able to possess and, to some extent, control the property. However, the property is owned by the beneficiary, the person for whose benefit the property is being used.
Trusts serve a number of purposes. For example, they can be set up to ensure that the beneficiary (say, a child) will consistently have enough money to live off of, but will be unable to spend it all on frivolities.
A trust can make as many or as few allowances as the person creating it wants. For example, a trust could be set up which authorizes the beneficiary to spend the money on educational expenses, and nothing else.
If you want, you could establish 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 easily spend all the money on some pretty frivolous stuff.
What to Include in Any Seattle, WA Trust
To establish a valid trust in Seattle, Washington, 4 elements must be present. The first element is purpose - the property being held in trust must be there for a reason. Your trust can serve just about any lawful purpose you can think of.
Second, every trust, to be valid, has to assign a trustee. This is the individual or other entity (such as a corporation) who oversees the property that embodies the trust. They possess and control the property, and are responsible for seeing that it is used according to the purpose of the trust.
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. However, if the person(s) meant to benefit from the trust do not yet exist, they can still be valid beneficiaries, as long as they are part of an identifiable class of people, and can be easily identified if they are born. For example, you could set up a trust to benefit your grandchildren, even if you don't really have any grandchildren yet.
Fourth and finally, there must be some money or property which is really going to be held in the trust. This property is referred to as the "corpus" (body) of the trust, and can be just about anything. However, it must really exist, and it must be identified.
Can A Seattle, Washington 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 difficult. For that reason, a Seattle, Washington attorney specializing in estate planning can be invaluable.