Trusts offer greater privacy than wills because trusts don't go through probate, so there usually aren't any public records of them. This means your assets and whom you leave them to are kept private. In a few rare cases, there will be a public record, such as if a trust is funded from a pourover provision in a will -- this is when items are transferred from a probate estate into your trust. Also, in some states, you may have to register a trust if it contains such items as real estate and securities, and this will create a public record. However, there may be a way around these obstacles. By placing assets in the name of a partnership instead of a trustee (called nominee partnership) you can protect your privacy. In this case, the assets in the trust are controlled by the partnership, but are still owned by the grantor.
More Great Links
- American Bar Association. "Giving to Charities with Charitable Remainder Trusts." (Jan. 15, 2011).http://www.abanet.org/abastore/books/inside_practice/2006/nov-dec/charities.html
- American Bar Association. "Guide to Wills & Estates." (Jan. 15, 2011).http://www.abanet.org/publiced/practical/books/wills/
- IRS.gov. "Estate Tax." (Jan. 15, 2011).http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=164871,00.html
- MetLife. "Establishing a Trust Fund." (Jan. 15, 2011).http://www.metlife.com/individual/life-advice/retirement-planning/establishing-a-trust-fund/index.html
- Nolo.com. "Guide to Living Trusts." (Jan. 15, 2011).http://nolonow.nolo.com/noe/popup/living_trust_guide.pdf
- USLegal.com. "Trusts." (Jan. 15, 2011).http://uslegal.com/trusts/
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