FAQS – Questions about Utah Trusts

bigstock-Portrait-Of-Senior-Couple-Rela-13914767 web sized1. What is a Trust?

A trust is an agreement by one person to accept property and hold it for another person. For example, Bob asks Sam to hold a painting and to give it to Bob’s wife after Bob dies. If Sam agrees, Bob has created a trust with Sam as the trustee. Bob’s wife is the beneficiary.

2. Who are the parties to a trust?

Utah law applies these terms to the parties to a trust (see Utah Code section 75-7-103):
    Settlor – a person who transfers property (also called a “Trustor”  or “Grantor”)
    Trustee – a person who agrees to hold the property
    Beneficiary – a person for whom the property is held

3. Why are trusts used in estate planning?

Trusts are powerful tools for estate planners. They are ideal for:                            
    • preserving assets for the surviving spouse
    • creating detailed instructions for transfer of assets to the next generation
    • providing safe management of assets which preserves the inheritance of irresponsible children, grandchildren and others
    • giving protection and help if a Settlor (creator of the Trust) or a beneficiary becomes incompetent (unable to manage his or her own affairs)
    • allowing privacy in the management of personal assets
    • avoiding probate

4. What is a revocable Trust?

A revocable trust is one that can be undone (revoked) by the person who created it. A revocable trust (also called a “living trust”) can be amended to meet changing circumstances or desires. The ability to change the trust is a big advantage.

5. What is an irrevocable Trust?  

This is a trust which cannot be undone or amended. Irrevocable trusts have advantages in useful in tax planning, making charitable donations and asset protection.

6. What is a special needs trust?

This is an irrevocable trust which allows a beneficiary to qualify for public benefits under some circumstances. A special needs trust is used for inheritances left for heirs receiving Medicaid or Social Security disability benefits.

7. What is an asset protection trust?

An asset protection trust is one written for the purpose of protecting the trust assets against future creditors and taxes. Almost always asset protection trusts are irrevocable trusts.

8. What is a Utah Domestic Asset Protection Trust (DAPT)?

In 2013, the Utah legislature amended Utah's asset protection trust statue to create one of the most powerful asset protection trusts in America. This new irrevocable trust is much more difficult for creditors to attack and easier for the Settlor (maker of the trust) to control. Call us for a good conversation about protecting your assets.

 Attorneys at Helgesen, Houtz and Jones have written hundreds of estate plans. We are happy to meet with you in a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION to discuss your estate planning needs.
Please call us today for a free evaluation of your needs and desires.

Helgesen, Houtz & Jones $$(801) 544-5306