Justin Jeppesen: Is a Family Trust Different from a Living Trust?

There are different Estate Planning documents with differing names that can signify what, when, or how a fiduciary is allowed to work. So, often the name of a legal document is of significance.

There are exceptions and one I want to address in this post is a Living Trust and a Family Trust. There are types of Trusts available, and they all come with differing names, so let’s just agree to talk about a revocable trust, ie the most common trust you will work with.

A Revocable Living Trust, Revocable Family Trust, Living Trust, Family Trust, Husband’s Trust, Wife’s Trust, Kid’s Trust, they should all perform the same functions; avoid probate, reduce or eliminate estate taxes, offer privacy, control distribution of assets, and provide disability or special needs planning, regardless of what it is called.

In this one narrow exception, the name doesn’t mean a whole lot to anyone but you. Often, if you want to leave all of your assets to your family, you go with the term Family Trust. Conversely, a Living Trust can sometimes signify that the assets will ultimately go to a larger number of beneficiaries, including foundations, scholarship funds, and charities, but this option does not exclude family members from being beneficiaries.

I have had clients get real creative with naming their trusts, including longitude/latitude coordinates of their honeymoon or dream vacation, latin phrases, funny phrases, or real short and sweet first names only, as well. It is up to you and how you want people to refer to your trust. If you leave it to me, I go with the family last name_trust. Not real creative, but that’s my comfort zone.

So, unlike the vast difference between a Living Will and a Will, the difference between a Living Trust and a Family Trust is only what you want it to be.

Contact Jeppesen Law today at 208-477-1785 to get started with your Family Trust or Living Trust.