Trusts are not just for the ultra-wealthy

Plan for the Future with a Trust

Plan for the Future with a Trust

Christine R. Settle |
Posted on Aug 01, 2022

Since the Middle Ages, Trusts have been used as a means of having a third party take custody of and care for property at the request of another party. When the Romans would prepare to go off to battle, often for long periods of time, they would “entrust” their property to a friend with the agreement that, upon their return, their property would be transferred back. 

Today, Trusts operate under a similar premise whereby the person setting up the Trust, known as the settlor, grantor or donor, names a trustee to manage the account. The trustee can be an individual person or persons, or a corporate trustee such as a bank. The settlor also names individuals or entities that will ultimately benefit from the Trust called the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries of a Trust can receive benefits from the account as the settlor sees fit, in the amounts and at the time intervals selected by the settlor. Family members, friends, churches, community groups, animal welfare organizations, educational institutions, hospitals, and other charitable entities are some common examples of beneficiaries. 

Contrary to popular belief, Trusts are not just for the ultra-wealthy. Trusts are created for a multitude of reasons which may include financial protection for children or family members, professional management of property and investments, protection in the event of incapacity, avoiding probate, and privacy. The terms of a will are public record upon death, whereas Trusts remain private and often provide for a speedy distribution.

A Trust can be either inter-vivos, also known as a living Trust, which is created during the settlor’s lifetime, or testamentary, which is created through the settlor’s Last Will and Testament after death. A Trust created during the settlor’s lifetime may be revocable or irrevocable, although a revocable Trust does not provide the same tax benefits as an irrevocable Trust. A variety of Trusts are available for almost any purpose. Law updates have even made creating Trusts to care for a pet an option. Details of a Trust are customized to the situation. No two Trusts are ever exactly the same. They are personalized to any desired specifics as long as there are no conflicts with state law.

It is always recommended you seek the advice of your attorney and/or trusted financial professional when planning for the future. Like other financial institutions with Trust powers, ACNB Bank can assist in Trust and estate planning matters with experienced staff to serve as a professional fiduciary in the capacities of executor, trustee, and/or financial power of attorney for individuals in our community. 

Christine R. Settle
Vice President/Trust Officer