Family Health Legal Library

Revocable and Irrevocable Living Trusts

Fundamental Elements of a Trust - How Do I Recognize A Trust?

Under most state laws, there are four elements which must be present to establish a trust:

  1. There must be an actual or a constructive expression that the Trustor intends to establish a Trust. This expression can be by words or actions or other conduct consistent with the intent to establish a trust;
  2. There must be certain identifiable property which will become Trust Property and this property must be identified as Trust Property in some manner;
  3. There must be an actual designation of the parties to the Trust, which normally includes a Trustor, one or more Trustees, and/or one of more Beneficiaries; and
  4. There must be a valid Trust purpose, which is recognized by the law of your state as a valid purpose. The best example that most professors use is that a trust formed to take care of another person is a valid Trust purpose, while a Trust formed for the purpose of avoiding creditors may not always be a valid Trust purpose.

By finding these four elements in a transaction which appears to have created a Trust, you can determine if a Trust has actually been created. However, often one or more of these items is not explicitly stated, or one item may appear to be missing. State laws and court decisions generally provide guidance in this area and it should be noted that your attorney can be a great source of assistance in determining whether a trust exists. In fact, it is difficult to be conclusive in this area without the benefit of advice and analysis from an experienced attorney.

Also, it must be noted that in order to make the Trust effective, there must be an immediate and present transfer of the property to the actual named Trustee. This means that even if the other four elements are present, the Trust cannot be effective until the Trustor does some act that effectively transfers the trust property, or part of the trust property to the Trustee.

Revocable and Irrevocable Living Trusts
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  
Sections Available in Family Health Legal Library
How to Use the Family Health Legal Library
Healthcare Directives: Preventing Serious Legal Proceedings
Durable Power of Attorney For Healthcare
Durable Power of Attorney
Considering a Life Care Plan
Protecting Your Estate
Revocable and Irrevocable Living Trusts
Medicare: Do You Know All You Should?
Medicaid - What If This System Is Necessary
Credit and Debt Problems with Medical Issues
Medical Surgeries, Diagnosis and Related Issues
Children at College Issues
Marital Issues When Medical Problems Arise
Introduction to Contract Issues
Specific Types of Contracts and Contract Issues
More Examples of Special Contracts
Real Estate Issues
Typical Consumer Problems

The Law
  in Your Life
Elder Care
Family Health
  Legal Library
Access Financial
Credit, Debt and Budgeting
Small Claims &
  Consumer Help
Domestic Violence
Anatomy of a Case
Legal Document