What is a Trust? | IRS Definition of a Trust

Most people will be familiar with trusts that occur after death. An individual may put their assets in a trust account so they can control those assets with stipulations even after they are deceased. But trusts can also occur during life. A trust account is created when assets are placed in the care of a third-party, either permanently or temporarily. These assets are controlled by a trustee. A revocable trust can be changed at any time. An irrevocable trust cannot.

Trust accounts are frequently used to control funds. As an example, a grandparent may put money in a trust with the stipulation that it only be used for college expenses. Trust accounts can also be used to donate to charity. Creating a trust is advised for high net worth individuals, so they can control their assets and their inheritance after they pass on. Living children and grandchildren may also have revocable, living trusts, which can give them money to spend, but ensure that the creator of the trust still has some measure of control.


Written by Maurice Mallory