What Is a Testamentary Trust and What Are Its Benefits?

A testamentary trust is any trust formed based upon terms contained in the settlor’s last will and testament.  A testamentary trust is neither formed nor funded until death and does not exist for legal and tax purposes prior to that time.   

An estate planning attorney determines the types of trusts to be used based upon the particular needs and goals of the family.  Often an attorney may have several trust options capable of achieving their client’s goals. An attorney sometimes recognizes that a trust may only be needed if certain circumstances occur.  As such, rather than form the trust immediately, the person forming the trust can include the terms of the trust in the last will and testament and delay the funding of the trust until the time of their death.  

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