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Trusts

Typically, a trust is a relationship amongst three people, where property of some kind is transferred by one person to another person for the benefit of the third party. The property may be tangible, intangible, real, or personal.

Trusts are created by a person referred to as a settlor, trustor, grantor, donor or creator, or founder, who then transfers property to a trustee. It is the trustee who holds the property for the benefit of the third party or beneficiary. The trustee does have legal title to the property, but beneficiaries have what is referred to as equitable title.

The trustee in instances such as this owes a fiduciary duty to the third party or parties. Trustees may be individuals or entities, just as there may be sole and multiple beneficiaries. In some cases, the settlor may also be a beneficiary.

Trust terms are usually written in a trust document, with the terms clearly spelled out as to what property is going to be transferred into trust and who the beneficiaries will be. All trusts are subject to local laws.